Sunday, 15 March 2015

Bangs, burlesque and the downright bizarre

On Thursday, Madam Arcati and I were pleased to get tickets for an event at one of our favourite cabaret venues, the Matcham Room at London's glittering Hippodrome - High Lights, billed as "an old style variety show", and hosted by none other than our old fave Dexter Clark, Mayfair’s foremost celebrity hairdresser!

The creation of the simply faboo Roger Lloyd-Thompson, Dexter was (like so many others) someone with whom I first made contact many years ago courtesy of MySpace, and we have followed his career as he emerged from that now-diminished site, via YouTube (unfortunately most of his classic video moments have now gone from there), to his storming live shows (see here and here). Having heard nothing of him for years, it was indeed good to have him back - and just as dismissive as ever of his celebrity clients (Kate Moss (“chemical streak”), Rebecca Brooks (“tawdry mane”), Katie Price (“thick up top”), Kerry Katona (“council house bangs”) and Britney Spears (“Mississippi muddy blonde”) among them).

His role on this occasion was not just to regale us with tales of his magnificent life, but also to introduce a swathe of other acts - or "interruptions" as he preferred to call them - to the Matcham Room stage.

So we were entertained (to varying degrees, admittedly) by the talented burlesque artiste Miss Giddy Heights (who opened the show with a rather fun piss-take of Kate Middleton, complete with willing helper from the audience as Wills, and closed it as a smutty Marie Antoinette), and by the bizarre Johnny MacCaulay (who performed as "Elvis - The Burger King of Rock and Roll", and in the second half, as a clown illusionist).

The internationally-renowned Romany, Diva of Magic (she's performed for Judi Dench, Johnny Depp, Mick Jagger and HM The Queen, though possibly not at the same time) grabbed Tony up onto the stage as her stooge, which was quite bewildering, but fun...

Miss Velma von Bon Bon was fab both as a sharp-shooting cowgirl riding a large pink-feathered "terror-bird" and a "drunken" burlesque aerialist, prat-falling from some rather alarming heights. Funniest of all, however, was the oddball duo Raymond & Mr Timkins (described by The Guardian as "a mad, anarchic triumph of stupidity over style; not to be missed"), whose madcap high-speed medley of songs based around a series of visual props was a joy to behold, and had us rocking in our seats.

This was a great night out, and lived up to its description. We thoroughly enjoyed it (as did fellow Polari-ites Bryanne and Simon). We look forward to more from dear Dexter, now he's out of rehab back in business!

Of course, the last word goes to Mr Clark himself, in this exposé:

More about Dexter Clark

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