Reason I adore London #5, because here in London the following sentence doesn’t sound out of place.
“Last night, wearing red shoes, Lucy and I went to a cabaret show at the Royal Albert Hall that featured my handstand teacher from circus school.”
Ok, maybe a little unusual. I mean how many people are as obsessed with red shoes as me? And we all know how badly it ended for that ballerina….but I digress.
London is a huge, metropolitan, worldly city in which it is completely possible to find oneself gliding from one connection to the next. All my various threads frequently lead to one large beautiful spiderweb, and last night was a terrific example.
Starting with my gorgeous friend Lucy, who I met at the school gates. Instant attraction, not least for her irrepressible joie-de-vivre and life-is-what-you-make it attitude. Thanks to Lucy I tried circus school (will write about that eventually…..) and loved it. But not as much as Lucy does. In 9 months, Lucy has gone from a trembling wreck a top the trapeze ledge to someone who not only flies with confidence but writes, blogs, tweets so much about circus, and by extension, cabaret, that she has made a name for herself in her own right in this world. So the perfect person with whom to enjoy a Christmas Cabaret. But enough about her, this blog is all about me, me, me…..
We arrived at RAH, not wanting to miss one second, rather too early. In fact, a worthy carol concert was taking place in the main auditorium with formidable matrons swathed in brocade belting out Oh Come All Ye Faithful. The ushers looked askance at us. Not only far too young (no seriously, we were), but all dolled up gasping for champagne. They kept stopping us asking to see our tickets as we roamed the empty passageways waiting for the Elgar Room to open upstairs, clutching our flutes of bubbly. And they seemed stunned when they saw we weren’t lying about the cabaret.
And finally it was time. Within moments of being ushered in, the divine MC for the night, Reuben Kaye, aka Ruby, swooped down on us, well Lucy, kisses all round. They know each other from former fab evenings. I had to ask about Ruby’s eyelashes and the sparkling lippy and the jacket and the…..Oh I wanted everything EVERYTHING he was wearing. And then the super sexy waitresses came along, with stockings I wanted even more…..let the naughtiness begin!
My teenage daughter asked me earlier in the day what the difference between cabaret and a strip club is. Well, the short answer is not a whole lot, except cabaret sounds much classier and I go. So it is. The slightly longer answer is that it is much more beautiful, with terrific music, and the women are strong. Crazy, insanely, circus strong. Flexible too, but that is a given. Cabaret is also popular with the more flamboyant members of the gay community, a community I seem to increasingly find myself involved with, which I love. NO ONE can flirt like a mature gay man. I recently lead a tour for the Gentlemen’s Walking Group of the Camden Chapter of AgeUK….25 charmers following me through the streets of London. Heaven. And my kiss from gorgeous retired gay porn star, Aiden Shaw, back in September, is a tale I am STILL dining out on…
The show, the show, back to the show…. drinks, dinner and the show. It wasn’t nearly as naughty as I hoped, and the audience was rather lackluster. Ruby and Miss Polly Rae did try bloody hard, but a general spirit of fun seemed to be lacking from the crowd. Well it was Royal Albert Hall, after all. Maybe the proverbial hair never really comes down there. But the acts were great.
Cabaret always has an element of maybe you see it, maybe you don’t, and to add to the frisson the “theme” of the night was “my secret is…” I LOVE secrets. I have loads and loads of secrets. Many of them aren’t vaguely interesting. I just like the idea of having them. This summer, in Las Vegas, I met the installation artist, Taxiplasm, and went to the opening of his show, “Tell Me Your Secrets” in which I enthusiastically participated. No, I won’t tell you what I whispered into his ear. I won’t tell you what I wrote on the paper they gave me last night either. In any case, it wasn’t deemed worthy to read aloud….and Ruby turned his favs into a hilarious rendition of 12 days of Christmas, with the stirring #5 being someone’s heartfelt “No English, sorry,” which we did all shout with gusto at the appropriate times. And that is it. Cabaret is different from strip tease because it is clever. Very clever. And funny, at times, champagne snorting out of nose funny. And, for me, anyway, this Christmas treat seemed to be encapsulate the highlights of 2014, in red shoes. Fabulous!
Follow Lucy on Twitter: @LucyLovesCircus or read her blog: http://lucylovescircus.blogspot.co.uk