FRINGE REVIEW: EastEnd Cabaret: Notoriously Kinky, Underbelly

*****
EastEnd Cabaret

EastEnd Cabaret

On paper, EastEnd Cabaret sound like they were the result of a particularly surreal spin of the Random Comedy Musical Double-Act Generator. On one hand we have Bernadette, a seductive cross between Liza Minelli and a Bond villiainess; on the other there is Victor/Victoria, a ‘freakish’ half man, half woman, 100% psychotic.

Live however, EastEnd Cabaret work perfectly. There is little to fault here: Victy’s multi-instrumental live loop creations are accomplished, featuring everything from kazoos to musical saws; Bernadette’s vocal delivery is a perfect diva and vamp cocktail, with a cherry-popping sassiness on top.

Facial expressions and mannerisms are spot-on too, veering from slinky seduction to (intentionally) toe-curling awkwardness. And the whole thing is rounded off with a confidence of delivery that projects the impression the pair have been performing together for years.

Then there are the songs. Your opinion on these will really depend on how easily-offended you happen to be. Let’s just say this is an over-16s show for a very good reason; and that an equally appropriate subtitle for it could be Gleefully Filthy.

But if that kind of thing appeals to you, EastEnd Cabaret’s numbers are the (slightly curdled) cream of the crop. Songs about deflowering virgins are followed by ditties about feats of skill with ping-pong balls; then give way to odes to Bernadette’s overactive libido and…a whole host of things we can’t really repeat on a family-friendly website.

The individual parts of Notoriously Kinky are funny and devilishly entertaining in and of themselves. The sum of those parts provides 60 minutes of some of the funniest, cleverest and most darkly mischievous musical comedy you are likely to see at this year’s Fringe.

On the basis of this show, it’s safe to say EastEnd Cabaret’s kinky notoriety is assured for a long time to come.

EastEnd Cabaret: Notoriously Kinky is at The Underbelly until 26 Aug, 2050-2150. Tickets are available on the Fringe website.

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