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EDINBURGH 2014 - BWW Reviews: EAST END CABARET: SEXUAL TENSION, Underbelly, August 17 2014

As I have mentioned repeatedly in other reviews I have an almighty fear of audience participation, so I was a little nervous upon entering East End Cabaret. Thankfully it seems to be mostly men that are selected by Bernadette - one half of East End Cabaret. The performance begins with Victy (short for Victor/Victoria) playing the introduction music. The intro is not quite spectacular enough for Bernadette so she selects two men from the audience to form "man beast" and rides onstage with their help.

There is an underlying story with East End Cabaret. Bernadette insists that her and Victy are just good friends who happen to live together but it becomes clear early on that Victy is obsessed with her. Half man and half woman Victy goes out of his/her way to sabotage any love interest that might come between the two.

What I really loved about East End Cabaret was how polished the show felt. This is high quality cabaret. While there is a lot of humour the songs are actually brilliantly crafted and performed with great skill. You can see that both performers are genuinely enjoying themselves which is especially refreshing to see by this point in the festival.

East End Cabaret manages to be completely filthy, but never sleazy. The audience participation is quite full on but everybody involved seems to be quite up for it. The venue has cabaret tables at the front and tiered seating at the back, but that won't guarantee your safety. Neither will sitting in the middle of a row. Bernadette is prepared to crawl over the seating (and other audience members) to touch you.

East End Cabaret: Sexual Tension runs at the Underbelly until August 25th.

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From This Author Natalie O'Donoghue

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