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New Year's Eve cabaret in London

Our top cabaret picks to see this festive season

By Ben Walters |
At this time of year, there's an abundance of cabaret events in the capital. Enjoy the cream of the cabaret crop and check out Time Out Cabaret editor Ben Walters' top picks for the festive season.
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Mat Ricardo
© Sin Bozkurt

Variety returns to the West End

As well as a packed schedule in his capacity as the scene’s pre-eminent lobber-and-catcher of balls, boxes, pins, blades, wine glasses and bowling balls, Mat Ricardo has popped up on TV alongside Jonathan Ross and Alan Titchmarsh, as well as doing his patented reverse-tablecloth-pull on an income-protection ad.

Lady Rizo, Cabaret
© Karl Giant

A cabaret star is born

When Time Out & Soho Theatre launched TO&ST: the Edinburgh Cabaret Award, we set out to find an electric talent who could serve as an ambassador for the best in contemporary cabaret to a general audience unfamiliar with the form. A tall order? Yep. Tough competition? Sure. Did we find a winner? Oh, hell, yes – we found Lady Rizo.

Sleaze, DJ Hit Man Hearn, Trixie Malicious, Miss Cairo, Mat Fraser
© Sin Bozkurt

Sleazy does it

From its beginnings in late 2011, it was clear that ‘Sleaze’, at Camden’s Lockside Lounge, was a bit special. Conceived by supersmart shock merchant Mat Fraser and saucepot Trixie Malicious – joined by Hit Man Hearn and Miss Cairo – its deliciously scuzzy mix of go-go dancing, games, fun, art, smut, satire and tits soon found an appreciative audience.

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Boredom, nudity, Céline Dion, nine-year-olds and ‘trannies with fannies’ – 2013 will be another provocative year in cabaret. Take a look at the acts Ben Walters is especially excited about.

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© Conan Whitehouse

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It was a big year for cabaret in London as the scene and its performers continued to move from strength to strength. With 2012 drawing to a close, Time Out's Cabaret Editor Ben Walters takes a look back at the most memorable cabaret and burlesque moments of the previous twelve months, selecting his five favourites (and one absolute stinker).

Mannish leads cabaret's X Factor makeover 2 CREDIT Mat Ricardo.jpg
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Judgements on ‘The X Factor’ veer between two poles. The best contenders can hope for is to be called ‘relevant’. At the other end of the spectrum, acts the judges don’t like are often labelled ‘cabaret’ – meaning cheesy, showy, based on belting out big notes or pleasing middle-aged cruise passengers.

© Jonathan Perugia / Time Out

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Boris and Sergey are a couple of two-foot-high, filthy little Balkan charmers, and the stars of their own semi-improvised grown-up bunraku (Japanese puppet theatre) show. The puppeteers’ visibility does nothing to undermine this duo’s seedy allure, whether they’re mounting cod-blockbuster set-pieces or losing their souls at poker.

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© Sophia Shorr Kon

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