Cabaret All Stars, Proud Embankment | Review

Sunday, 4 October 2020

Proud Cabaret
Proud Embankment
Reviewed on Friday 2nd October 2020 by Olivia Mitchell 

With theatrical nights out so few and far between (for obvious reasons) each opportunity to experience live performance is a real treat. With the weather getting colder and the nights getting longer, Proud Cabaret is a perfect remedy for the gloom which is so often prevalent these days, and is a treat for anyone craving some glitz and glam in their lives; plus you get to see West End superstar Kerry Ellis headline the night.

The evening takes place at Proud Embankment, a bustling venue under the arches of Waterloo bridge. You're escorted in by ushers draped in feathers and sparkles (including a glitzy face mask, of course) and it almost feels like entering a speak easy where unknown adventures will take place. The tables in the venue are socially distanced and you are asked to wear your own face mask any time you stand up or move around. As well as the performances the ticket includes a wonderful Japanese fusion three-course meal and a welcome cocktail, provided by head chef, Antonio Vacca. The food is outstanding, and a show in itself.

The show/event itself occurs in the round over two levels. Each table has a great view of the action and the varying levels of the acts themselves means every view is completely unique. The night is jam packed with world class circus and cabaret performers who keep you on the edge of your seat and completely invested from start to finish. The whole thing feels very vintage but with a modern twist; there's classic burlesque numbers mixed in with mime, sword swallowing and aerial work. There's no story or dramatic structure as such but the whole thing flows well and feels very dreamlike. Each week features a slightly different line up but they are all high class and high quality.

The through-line of the show is Kerry Ellis who appears periodically throughout the evening to wrap us around her finger with her powerhouse vocals. She is a certified star who controls the stage with elegance and power in perfect balance. Ellis' rendition of Diamonds Are Forever is completely brilliant and like each song, is followed by rapturous applause. 

It's a treat to see any sort of live performance these days, but performances of such high standards make it even more of a treat. A night of decadence which evokes the Jazz age, Cabaret All Stars is definitely worth a visit.