A week on the town with Shebah, Queen of the London social scene.
In total contrast to the big venues that can accommodate thousands of sweaty dancers, Kabaret only holds 120, although apparently the main attraction for Piers was the venue's historical notoriety - as the nightclub Murray's, where the likes of John Profumo (gallivanting with Christine Keeler) and The Krays partied in the swinging '60s.
What's unusual about this place is that the cabaret element has been retained, and is intended to be a showcase for up-and-coming acts that will include the good, the bad, and the bizarre (think dwarves dragging weights across the stage using only their genitals).
The first act on was a woman who "massaged" her metal-clad breasts with an electric saw, causing sparks to fly into the bemused audience. Meg Mathews, Noel Gallagher and Goldie seemed genuinely impressed although actors Sadie Frost and hubby Jude Law were unmoved in their leather banquette round the corner. They turned to check out "Mad" Frankie Fraser's wife Marilyn do a song, as a proud Mr Fraser looked on, reminiscing perhaps about the times in his somewhat colourful past when he too used to patronise the old venue.
I managed to drag myself away from my comfortable booth and the charms of Natasha Caine, who was enjoying the friendly new club with racing-team owner Piers Portman, his wife Lucy, and Bush singer Gavin Rossdale. Although it was after 1am, I was one of the first to leave. Call me square, but it was only Monday night.
I enjoyed the evening so much that I returned a few nights later with actor Dexter Fletcher who was over from LA to collect yet more awards for Lock, Stock... He didn't seem too fazed by the acts, which that night included Elephant Man Elvis. I suppose it seemed normal after his spell in Los Angeles.
I went to the first night of the new season of Lenny Beige at The Talk Of London, which was only less bizarre than my night at Kabaret because I knew what to expect.
An oddball crew peppered Lenny's hilarious stage routine of shamelessly egotistical banter. There was Geordie Gunter, the male porn star who gyrates and grunts in time to music, the Hampstead Village People, a Jewish rap boy-band, and, my personal favourite, Supergirlie, who did a hilarious send-up of All Saints' Never Ever. Even Madness star Suggs got up on stage to sing a couple of duets with Mr Beige.
In the audience were soap stars Will Mellor and girlfriend Angela Griffin, Martine McCutcheon, and the television presenter Melanie Sykes. Even though my stomach hurt the next morning from all the laughter, I am going to do my best to catch Lenny again before his Wednesday night season ends.
I managed to fit in a rather more intellectual recreation at the theatre this week. David Hare, who wrote the play Amy's View and the film Plenty among others, performed his own one-man play Via Delarosa at The Almeida theatre. He somehow kept the audience enthralled with his comic-political observations on Israel, based on the heavy subject of the differences in religious cultures in the Middle East.
Finally, I caught the first night of Three Days Of Rain which stars Colin Firth, Elizabeth McGovern and David Morrissey. This was part of the American Imports season at The Donmar that also included the play Morphic Resonance, starring Nigel Lindsay and Joanna Roth.
It's great to see such quality actors up close on stage, although I couldn't help noticing that the man in front got especially excited whenever Elizabeth McGovern moved around on the bed in her see-through slip.
First nights attract actors as well as critics, and this time the heavily pregnant Jane Horrocks was there, as was Emilia Fox and Imogen Stubbs. I met up with Colin Firth's handsome younger actor brother Jonathan, and later went for some nosh at the "biz" restaurant Joe Allen with Nigel Lindsay and his girlfriend Laura Evans. What a luvvie week it's been!
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|Publication:||The Mirror (London, England)|
|Date:||Mar 12, 1999|
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