BWW Reviews: EVE FERRET - MADAME BOUFFANT, Cafe Koha, April 24 2015

Cabaret is no easy gig - more would do it if it were - but it helps to get the basics right. The room must be small enough to be intimate; tables must be laden with booze; and the performer should be able to mix the pathos with the profane, the witty remarks with the withering asides; and become one of us, yet separated by their talent too.

Fortunately, Eve Ferret (in fortnightly Friday residence at Cafe Koha in the heart of the West End) builds on exactly those strong foundations. Resplendent in a floaty red peignoir (about more later), she cuts an exotic figure with red hair piled high like Rita Hayworth, an effect underlined by her first song, Diva. But she's no Rita, nor Marlene, as she proves by telling a cruel story against herself inspired by a remark made on a bus. Not many real Divas catch the 22.

Soon we're singing along to The Osmonds' odd song of praise to heroin (well, that was always my reading) Crazy Horses, the first of a strange mix of seventies singalong interludes, including a joyous Rapper's Delight.

But it's the personal and the painful that lights up a cabaret and we get plenty of that in songs like Scars (the pain of an intense love affair now gone) and Pimlico Belle, a beautiful evocation of her home for half a century or more. After a few rambling stories and more Victoria Woodish songs, the first show (of two each evening) concludes with a riotous hymn to her favoured garment, the red peignoir, the glorious impracticality of which gives Eve enormous pleasure and can even stop wars - is Hillary listening?

This is old-fashioned entertainment with as many echoes of Tessie O'Shea as of Edith Piaf, but, supported by some very fine guitar work from Roddy Matthews, it's a blissfully relaxing way to round off a week of emails and meetings. You emerge from Eve's underground lair smiling and ever so slightly surprised to find that you're not in the Boulevard St Germain after all.


Full Cast Set for THE TEMPEST at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre and the Unicorn Theatre announced the full cast and creative team for The Tempest re-imagined for everyone aged six and over, revised and directed by Jennifer Tang. Learn how to purchase tickets!

Review: I FOUND MY HORN, Riverside Studios

In a new revival of I Found My Horn at west London’s Riverside Studios – co-written by Jonathan Guy Lewis and Jasper Rees, both lapsed horn players ­­– the audience is provided with ample reasons to think about taking up that violin, double bass or even fiendishly tricky French horn again.

Sir Cameron Mackintosh Awarded Freedom of the City of London

The world’s most prolific producer of musicals in theatre history has received the Freedom of the City of London at Guildhall today (June 1), in recognition of his outstanding contribution to musical theatre.

Indhu Rubasingham Steps Down As Artistic Director Of Kiln Theatre

Kiln Theatre has announced that Indhu Rubasingham will step down as Artistic Director of the company, leaving early 2024, having led the company for over a decade.

From This Author - Gary Naylor

Gary Naylor is chief London reviewer for BroadwayWorld ( and feels privileged to see so much of his home city's theatre. He writes about ... (read more about this author)



Recommended For You