Cabaret review: EastEnd Cabaret: Dirty Talk
Edinburgh Festival Fringe Scotsman review: EastEnd Cabaret: Dirty Talk at Underbelly Cowgate (venue 61), reviewed by Claire Smith
Musically inventive and delightfully dirty as ever – this year EastEnd Cabaret have gone interactive.
Bernadette Byrne, dressed in spiked fetish heels and a shimmering dress, decides her entrance is not sufficiently dramatic and insists on being carried on a man chariot – created from two male members of the audience.
Byrne kicks off her killer heels and clambers over the audience looking for victims. Men are dragged to the stage and encouraged to share their dance moves and sex noises. I wonder if they are taking this whole audience interaction thing too far – but EastEnd Cabaret have never been afraid of excess.
Raven-haired Byrne requires nothing less than worship from her audience – as well as slavish devotion from her musical partner, half-man, half-woman Victor Victoria.
This new show sees keyboard player and accordionist Victor Victoria coming into her own. Victy has always been a foil to Byrne’s outrageous self-obsession – but this show lets her come forward and explore her own comic gifts. Secretly and tragically in love with Bernadette, Victy has now added Rohypnol to her armoury to help the romance along.
She has also had a makeover and looks less moth-eaten than before, with short blond hair on one side and tumbling brown curls on the other.
The songs, inspired by the Eastern European cabaret of the 1930s, are wry, witty and sprinkled with some very good jokes.
There is a heap of new material – including a 1980s sex fantasy about David Bowie having sex with David Bowie. There’s also a creepy song about foot fetishists and another with an uncomfortably graphic premonition into the sex lives of certain members of the audience.
The climax of the show is a medley of past favourite numbers, including Tiny Sex Robot – about a vibrating mobile phone.
And then in characteristic EastEnd Cabaret style, the show finishes with a riotous singalong version of their best-known number, Dangerwank – encouraging the audience to carry the spirit of the show into the festival night by pleasuring themselves in alleyways and other public places.
MORE INFO: EastEnd Cabaret: Dirty Talk at Underbelly Cowgate (venue 61)
Originally published in The Scotsman