The Bamboozle Room is an entire fantasy of its own with ritzy flapper energy and Great Gatsby-esque style. The immersive charm is switched on from the moment we enter. We feel like we've stepped back into a bygone era – just ignore the fact that we received a text with directions to the location earlier that day, and there’s a QR code to scan on our table to keep the drinks flowing.
This full-time haunt for cabaret dinner shows gathers all the feathery, glittery, charming best expectations of proper burlesque and throws in some oddballs and unexpected elements. It implores you to rethink who you expect to see on a burlesque stage as you sip, nibble, giggle and blush your way through the evening. The atmosphere is ripped straight from the KitKatClub – Weimar-era Berlin meets geographic patterned carpet that would be right at home in the Stanley Hotel.
Checking out the current production, the Night Cap, we are welcomed into the home of wealthy, silk-robe-wearing bachelor Charlie (vaudevillian entertainer Daniel Gorski) and exposed to a variety of burlesque, comedy, magic and cabaret acts wrapped up in an evening he spends waiting on a visit from a lady friend. As a character, Charlie has the potential to be creepy, but Gorski brings an Alan Cumming-esque warmth to the stage, with a pencil-thin moustache and masculine-yet-camp energy à la Gomez Addams or Vincent Price.
Along the way, there are boozed-up antics from two mischievous maids (Cat Bolitho and Daniele Clements, both serving major feather duster from Beauty and the Beast energy), unexpected visitors like ‘the Uninvited Guest’ (played with deft improvisation and a friction of cringe-humor endearment by comedian Jared Jekyll) and the big voice and big personality of ‘Charlie’s Date’ (Scottish lass and songstress Nicolajayne Campbell). But the most captivating presence in the show is that of top-tier burlesque entertainer Eva Devore, who brings her Art Deco-styled charm (complete with a cropped black bob) to the role of the reappearing siren, whose numerous acts are introduced through an inconsequential plot device. Her acts are impressive enough without knowing that she made all the bejeweled costumes herself.
Throughout the night, we're kept fed and watered, with a light and tasty à la carte two-course menu (don’t expect stodgy chips and pub grub, although there’s a pub downstairs) and an extensive drinks list with some cocktails curated with specific era-appropriate flair. The Bamboozle Room brings the fun, the funny, the sexy, a little bit of oh-là-là, and a little bit weird, and wraps it up in a thoroughly charming package – complete with a selfie opp on a crescent moon with a charming face that looks like it belongs in a silent movie.
It is curious to compute that this vintage-style, hidden cabaret gem is the brainchild of a former punk rock frontman and surf filmmaker, Tim Rowland, who co-founded it in 2016, but we’re grateful to be in on the secret.
The Night Cap runs most Friday and Saturday nights (interspersed with the odd more casual Talk and Tease shows), doors at 6.45pm for a 7pm start. Dinner and show packages range from $120-$170, and there are a limited number of show only tickets for $75. Check availability and book in here.