Now knowing that all i needed to do was get on the Central line I set off. All I knew was that it was similar in some way to the New Orleans Jazz style funeral, mourning as a celebration rather than a sad event. What it turned out to be was good ole I suppose cabaret or maybe vaudeville mostly themed around the Funeral of the great but unlamented Jack the Ripper
First up was the suitably creepy compere Bang Crosby to introduce the acts
Next up we had a songstress Carmen Mon Oxide who had a wonderful voice
Then we had a very random act. A window washer who to strains of George Fornby proceeded to down the contents of his windowlene bottles having mimed washing some windows. This ability to consume large amounts of liquids in a short space of time must be a staple of cabaret as I saw Chrisylis do something this time with "a bottle of wine" while dressed as a pig at Dark Circus. I guess it's just packaged differently and I suppose the mock suicide attempt fitted with the macabre theme. I've seen an act somewhere possibly from a film with a man and a broom allegedly sweeping the stage and then turning it into an act. Answers on a postcard if you can tell me where.... I guess the idea here was the same something to fill a gap while there was a costume change or something happening behind the scenes. Well I hope this was the case other wise the poor lad really needs to work on his act.
Next up we had the Late Night Shop cabaret collective who I could easily follow round London just going to events they're attending formy alternative fix. having seen them 2 or maybe 3 times if it was them doing a really creepy lending library at Rumpus.
They did a comic skit with Jack the Ripper stalking a prostitute complete with authentic period teeth .It had a feel of a silent movie or mime because of the actors movements big telegraphed and very amusing . With Jack pulling various implements out of his bag being caught doing so and then having to mime hammering down the floor boards or pull out his own teeth with pliers in order to allay the suspicions of his intended victim. He succeeds in murdering her and disembowels her pulling out a string of sausages.
We then had a dramatic monologue by Tom Baker who peformed it with verve, elan and applomb. He gave us with great stye the Ballad of Mad Carew or The Green Eye of the Little Yellow God .
You may have heard the opening words before I have although I'm not sure how or when. Having thought about it I may have heard it playe on a loop long with such things as Albert on the Lion on my radio headset on a flight somewhere.
It is set in Nepal ("to the north of Kathmandu"), during the British Raj and tells the tale of a wild young officer known as "Mad Carew", who steals the "green eye" of a "yellow god" (presumably an emerald in a gold statue) in order to impress his beloved. He is wounded in the course of the robbery, and later murdered, presumably by a devotee of the god for the theft, who returns the jewel to the idol
Tom Baker would have been fine on his own but his words were given dramatic emphasis by a lady playing that most difficult of instruments a saw. Her accompaniment was perfectly timed and had just the right emphasis and the two of them were probably the best act of the evening
At some point we also had a rendition of Mack the Knife , actually I believe it was while waiting for the main act to start right at the beginning. We also had the Rum Buffalo Funeral Band
playing musc on and off throguhout the night as an accompaniment to when Jacks coffin arrived and then at interval throughout the evening.
We also had Snake Fervour another act which I saw similar at Dark Circus which obviously has a very high pain threshold and a grim determination to let everyone know about it. It was a hide behind the sofa peek through your fingers act . She proceeded to stub cigarettes out on her tongue walk on razor blades and hang a heavy bag off her self via hooks inserted in parts of her face. Not something to watch with you local health and safety officer.
Next we had Jaz Delorean who handled the accordion with skill and half hadme wanting to rush out and buy one of my own.
He proceeded to put a "spell on us" before playing us a ballard of losing his love to a Gypsy King. His voice was so gravelly Network Rail could use it to resurface their trackbed
Mary Beth Morossa was up next. A story teller, performance artist, dancer difficult to categorise. She to a taped monologue telling us the Story of Edward and Virginna proceded
to act out of a young girl walking home at night , a shadowy figure stalking her, their encounter and it's tragic end. All via the medium of dance the encounter was equated to a tango it's movements more macarbe than sensual. You could almost see the london fog and her shoes evoked high heels on cobbles as she tap danced. Another standout performance.
The last performance I saw before I had to make a mad dash for the underground was the Fabulous Bakewell Boys . (a play on the fabulous Baker Boys) They were two comedians from oop North possibly Yorkshire but Bakewell is in Derbyshire so I'm not too sure. For some reason they had on burberry balaclavas?? or some kind of mask. They're comedy was very amusing and all the better for avoiding trying to be rude. Their act was two nice but dim Northern lads. An eccles cake short of a picnic perhaps . They were very amusing with a comedy fire eaters act and the odd comic song.
The night was more macabre comedy than actual New Orleans style funeral but all the better for it.
If the opportunity arises I will definitely be going again even if i have to suggest it on meetup myself
I think this may be one that like Dark Circus will become a regular feature on the calendar.