It’s that time of year when Mary Bijou Cabaret get their baubles out for everyone! Yay!
This year’s performance, the usual mix of circus, comedy, sketches, music and lots of other kinds of ridiculousness, did not let us down.
The show began with a sultry rendition of Joni Mitchell’s River, followed closely by a playful Chinese pole act from Kate McWilliam. Trailing a bouncing silver balloon behind her, she flipped around the pole with a massive smile on her face!
Co-founder of the cabaret, George Orange, who we interviewed a couple of years ago, entertained the crowd between acts, drawing attention to the cock-ups in the customary Mary Bijou way. After finishing her own, special rendition of Silent Night, ‘Maxine’ (aka Paul Evans) got stuck suspended in mid air dressed as an angel. It took a good minute or so for the crowd to realise that it wasn’t part of the plan…
Other highlights included the bizarrely hilarious Austrian ski dance to a techno version of Vogue (I can’t explain it any better that that), George’s slackline, Kitsch n Synch‘s little sandman ditty, Catriona and Ben’s furious sketch about Christmas (“IT’S ONLY JUST BEGUN, ARGHHHHH!!”
), Maxine’s powerful static trapeze routine, Olga and Hannah’s silks act, where they transformed from toy dolls into real women to a Beastie Boys soundtrack and, of course, the finale – Eric’s unbelievable straps performance.
Mary Bijou shows have a warm, social vibe where everyone ends up dancing at the end of the night and acts are so close to the audience that you can feel their breath. The performers are a motley gang of incredible talent, and you always feel as if you’ve just dropped in on a house party where someone decided to hastily arrange a talent show, in the best possible way. Their shows are edgy, socially conscious, experimental and rib-achingly funny.
Oh, also a special shout out to Ernie Sparkles’ set design, which according to him included 4 tonnes of glitter….
If only they were doing more than two shows! Guess you’ll just have to wait until next year…We made a little video for you too – see below.