The Secret Cabaret, Dirty Martini,
**** 4 Stars
“ a touching and deep cabaret evening. “
Following the success launch of “The Secret Cabaret” in Bristol, producer Angus Blance brings his monthly fundraising cabarets to Dirty Martini above Le Monde in the capitals George Street and it charms with wonderful performances but does need more in its programming choices.
Using a format of three acts over a 2 and bit hours and with a “themed” third act to bring colour to evening should work but the choices of songs, which have a heavy American flavour were to often on the deep emotional with nowhere near enough comedy and light so the balance became heavy going. The themed third act of “LGBTQIA+” celebration was well intentioned but again the focus was and the lack of acceptance, problems with love and the loss of a lover. It would have been nice to see the balance of happiness for those who identify as LGBQIA+.
The six strong cast all have there moments to shine across the three acts, James Dawoud’s gentle and strong vocals come to the fore in his charming take on “Giants in the Sky” from Sondheim’s “Into the woods”. Mimi Joffroy has big and brassy vocals to a tea with an emotional performance of “All falls down” from Groundhog Day the musical. Alistair Mackey brings an actor’s touch to his songs and his take on “I’ll cover you” conveys the emotion but the vocals are stretched to the limits. Sally Pugh brings intensity to all her performances none more so than a stellar rendition of “Losing my mind” from Follies. Malachi Reid brings tears to eyes with a heartfelt take on “Not my father’s son” from Kinky Boots and is a beautiful moment. The true stand out from the opening cabaret is Sophie Douglas, her honey-soaked vocals with the right degree of power and her performances of “I can cook too” from on the town and “she used to be mine” from waitress truly show the versatility of her performance skills.
The 6 perform together twice, once to open the cabaret and they close it together with a rousing rendition of “You will be found” from the current smash hit “Dear Evan Hansen” and brings things to a rousing conclusion. The evening is anchored by the stylish piano accompaniment of Musical Director Steven Seagaud combined with Louise Sables musical staging ensures the best is made of the small stage.
This was a touching and deep evening of cabaret and if future programmes have a little more light amongst the darkness it will continue to sell out and earn a reputation as the premier musical cabaret in the city.
The Secret Cabaret will run monthly at Dirty Martini (Le Monde) Edinburgh and the next Cabaret is scheduled for Sunday 16th February.