With a deep-seated fear of audience participation, I found walking into the dark basement of Soho Theatre to be confronted by the already gyrating cast of immersive cabaret show ‘The Passion of Lady Vendridi’ mildly alarming, to say the least. And it wasn’t just me, the audience all hung back towards the outer edges of the room while ‘mythopoetic super heroine and vodou priestess popstar from another dimension’ Lady Vendredi and her Vendettas danced hip-first across the floor. After partaking in the sacrament (popcorn) we were beckoned towards the stage by Lady Vendredi - the alter ego of Nwando Ebizie - resplendent in sequined trousers and a gold lamé top with magnificent kimono sleeves.
We were initiated into her church by the ‘Dirty Chicken’ song: equal parts hilarious and catchy, and with seriously sick bars it was exactly what was needed to warm up the room. As the evening drew on, the performance became increasingly unhinged in the best possible way - there was a uterus with comically large hands, a tantruming brat, a chained virgin, a trollop and a sacrificial man.
No place for reticence, at one point the audience was asked to get into pairs, look into each other’s eyes and repeat a prayer to the feminist trinity, this was followed by the male in the duo sinking to his knees to whisper an apology into the stomach of the female - all of which could have been incredibly uncomfortable if it wasn’t so funny. By the end we were completely desensitized to the lunacy, dancing freely and it seemed like a perfectly reasonable way to explore the journey of womanhood.
Go but maybe briefly join the cult of Bacchus before diving into the church of Lady V because you will need to leave your inhibitions in the cloakroom.