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That season is almost upon us again, and there are a multitude of amazing shows and parties on the horizon. This week, Jason Reid previews some of the top pantos, shows and seasonal shindigs that our clever cabaret artists will be showcasing…

• The Little Orphaned Fannie
• RVT, 372 Kennington Lane, Vauxhall,SE11 5HY
• 4th, 5th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 18th, 19th,
• 27th, 30th December, 8pm
• £12/ £25 show and meal

The notorious RVT Panto returns for its seventh year with what’s being billed as its most spectacular adventure to date. Join little orphaned Fannie as she attempts to get her hands on Daddy’s Big Bucks, boo the villainous Ms P’st Hagan, (Myra Dubois), slap away the advances of Randy the Fox and wonder at the powers of Genie of the Locket (Ginger Johnson). This show is brimming over with panto classics brought up to date for your adult years.

Myra Dubois

So, why is this going to be the most spectacular RVT panto yet? 

We’ve gone all out this year! We have pyrotechnics (party poppers), actual scenery (imagine!) and choreography. The things my legs have to do during my solo number. Even Bonnie Langford would blush!

How would you sum up your character, Ms P’st Hagan?

She’s the villain of the piece, the scheming alcoholic matron of the orphanage intent on bagging herself J.R. BigBucks and his fortune.

It was written by Gareth Joyner, what’s he like to work with?

He’s an absolute joy to work with. Handsome, extremely witty (which shines through the script) and overbearingly modest. A genuine talent, I see a lot of myself in him.

What elements make for the perfect panto in your opinion?

You need everything you remember from your childhood plus booze. All the hissing and booing, all the cheering and singing, crying out ‘It’’s behind you’, chanting ‘Oh no it isn’t’.

• Alp Haydar’s Christmas Kebab
• Manbar, 79 Charing Cross Road, Soho, WC2H 0NE
• Wednesday 4th, 11th, 18th December, 7.30pm.
• £5 standing, £10 sitting


Alp Haydar’s one man, multifaceted show is set in a family run Turkish kebab shop at Christmas, with four brothers who have their own ideas on how they will celebrate. Then there’s their evil, crazed mother, Sharia Law.

This unusual schizophrenic pantomime provides a touching commentary on the disenfranchised at Christmas, the bridges that are burnt and the new bonds that are forged when secrets are brought into the open.

Dark and dirty with songs, comedy and video work from this two-time London Cabaret Award winner.

•  The Shinky Shonky Christmas Caper
•  The Black Cap, 171 Camden
•  High Street, NW1 7JY
•  Friday 13th December, 9pm-4am
•  £4 before midnight, £5 after 

Showbiz multi-tasker Boogaloo Stu is joined by Albert Twatlock, Princess Knickers and special guests for all manner of Christmas campery and multicoloured madness at The Black Cap this Yuletide.

For one-night only there’ll be a plethora of festive beats and smutty sing-alongs. All served up, of course, in the most garish of garbs with accompanying crazy competitions and party games that you’ll want to re-enact again and again with Great Aunt Joan come Christmas day.

Boogaloo Stu

“I can’t wait for our Christmas Caper. There’ll be a blizzard of office party anthems, mince pies, smutty seasonal badges and enough booze to sink a ship.

Princess Knickers and I are currently planning our own version of the Nativity for the midnight cabaret.”

• Dick! Comes Again:
• Bigger, Longer, Harder!
• Leicester Square Theatre, 6
• Leicester Place, WC2H 7BX
• 27th November – 19th January
(various times)
• Box Office: 08448 733433. From £18.50

Who doesn’t love a bit of dick? We know we do – as much as we can get our grubby, glitter-stained hands on too.

After its highly successful run last year, Dick! is back, starring legendary international DJ/club host extraordinaire Miss Dusty ‘O’, playing S’HoHo’ sex club owner, Sofanda Cox, backed by a talented cast of West End Wendys and written once again by Stuart Saint.

Prepare to be taken on a camp carnal romp through London town. Will Dick, Alice, Fairy Bell-End and the infamous cat, Dave the Pussy be able to save the day?

Dusty O

What’s different in ‘Dick!’ this time round?

Well there are four new amazing cast members, several new songs, a new plot and tons of new jokes. It’s faster and fresher but still retains its x-rated billing and “Carry On” slapstick British style.

How would you sum up your character, Sofonda Cox?

Think Bernard Manning dressed as Marlene Dietrich. She is glamorous yet caustic, high maintenance and extremely jaded with her lot in life, vulgar and self-obsessed with an opinion on everyone and everything.

It’s an arduous schedule of shows, what’s your secret to surviving the course?

I stop drinking for the eight week run; I eat healthy; I sleep whenever I can and I behave myself. Some days we have three shows a day and it’s not fair to the audience to not give it 100%, so I am sobriety itself. I honestly thought the amount of shows would kill me last year but I sailed through it and the bonus was I lost nearly two stone which meant I could fit into loads of my old couture clothes again.

• Camp (On The Estate)
• Dick Collins Hall, Redhill Street, NW1 4DJ
• 11th – 14th December, 7.30pm
• £15 or £8 if you live in Camden social housing

Scottee invites you to knock back a sherry this Christmas, with a few of his friends, on his council estate. Starring Jonny Woo, Bourgeois & Maurice, Bryony Kimmings, Dickie Beau, Josephine Shaker, Donald Choi and in-house dance troupe Japan’s People.

Plus Mr Glanville on the piano! Expect a mix of camp clichés, bolshi barmaids and limp wrists. Suitable for Mums and snowball drinkers.


“I was born on a council estate up the road from the council estate I currently live on. Estate life is pretty much all I know. I’ve always wanted to celebrate council estates somehow and never knew how to do it justice until late August when Camden council posted a pamphlet through my door.

The fold out explained what would happen to the estate when the inevitable High Speed 2 (HS2) bulldozers were given permission to commence work. It explained that around two hundred social homes will be destroyed, three open spaces built upon, the closure of the local police station and the demolition of the Dick Collins Hall. Camp (on the Estate) is a the last hurrah in my local social club.”

• Camp (NYE)
• Assembly Hall, Shoreditch Town Hall, 380 Old Street, EC1V 9LT
• Tues 31st December, 9pm -3am.
• £15 £20.

New Year’s Eve usually starts off with a civilised flute of champagne with some close friends and ends up with us scooping vomit off the bathroom floor with a dustpan and brush whilst clutching a box of fried chicken and two litres of water! It’s ALL glamour here at QX.

This year Scottee invites us all to a special edition of his now infamous, variety showcase featuring some of the world’s leading show offs: OAP rap artiste Ida Barr, New York chanteuse Lady Rizo, all girl Motown dance troupe The Actionettes, the finest disco dancers in stilettos Legs and Coq, Newcastle’s answer to Edith Piaf Ginger Johnson, T-r-a-n-n-y, Mzz Kimberly, Hamburger Queen winner, Ashleigh P Owen and in-house dance troupe Japan’s People.

Annnnnnd, if that wasn’t quite enough, Celebrity Big Brother star Lauren Harries will be DJ-ing. (I KNOW?!?) alongside Jodie Harsh and Bourgeois and Maurice.

• Bourgeois & Maurice and Sink The Pink: Santamental
• Lime Wharf, Vyner Street, E2 9DJ
• Friday 20th December, 7pm – 3am
• £15

Celebrated cabaret duo Bourgeois and Maurice join forces with eccentric club brand Sink the Pink for an unmissable night of Christmas revelry at Hackney’s most exciting new gallery-cum-bar-cum-performance-cum-party warehouse, Lime Wharf (that’s a lot cum!)

Highlights will include a Fortune Telling Elf, The 12 Gays of Christmas Tranny Choir and lots of prosecco on tap… Oh, and a real log fire and Christmas songs. Naturally.

This heaven sent collaboration will make sure Christmas is celebrated just as Jesus would’ve wanted – a joyous proclamation of anarchy and great outfits.

• Jack Off The Beanstalk
• Arch 17, Miles Street, SW8 1RZ
• 29th November – 5th January
• Tues – Sat at 7.30pm; plus Sat matinee at 3.30pm and Sun shows at 2pm & 6pm. £12-£18.

Above the Stag offer up their annual inimitable slice of adult panto kitsch from their new home in Vauxhall.

Jack Off the Beanstalk follows the life of Jack Trott and his mother who are poor dairy farmers, forced to sell their beloved cow Kylie for a handful of magic beans.

Written by John Bradfield and Martin Hooper, the creators of the last four pantos, and starring Chris Clynes as Jack, there’ll be cross-dressing, romance, sweet-throwing, silliness and songs, and then some…

Chris Clynes (Jack)

How are the cast settling in to their new home and how are rehearsals going?

The theatre is being built around us which is exciting, and it is coming together beautifully. It has plenty of space, yet keeps an intimate theatre feel. Rehearsals are such fun, the cast are fantastically funny and the kettle is always on, so we feel very at home.

How would you sum up your character, Jack?

A decent Northern gay lad looking for love in hilarious circumstances.

As it’s an adult panto, what’s your favourite filthy line from the show?

There’s so many good ones but for now I’ll go with Fleshcreep’s line: “I’m looking for a security guard by the way, so if you think you can handle my back entrance with a light but insistent touch drop me a line.”

In your opinion, what makes a panto a great panto?

It must honour the traditions of panto, but also be clever, current and genuinely funny for it to be relevant.

• The Drama Queens presents The Bitches Of Oz
• Two Brewers, 114 Clapham High Street, SW4 7UJ
• 12th-19th January, (various times). £10-£20

Renowned cabaret stars Rose Garden (who played ‘Sinderella’ in last year’s successful Drama Queens panto), Mrs Moore and Tanya Hyde, as well as the rest of the Drama Queens company, come together for this manic mash-up of all things OZ throughout December and January.

Expect the unusual, expect it to be rude, and expect it to be the usual high standard of drag theatrical performance that we’ve come to expect from this talented troupe.

•  Sorry I’m a Lady ‘Festive Edition’
•  Vogue Fabrics, 66 Stoke Newington Road, Dalston, N16 7XB
•  Monday 2nd – Saturday 7th December, £8 (£5 concessions). 8pm for 8.30pm.
•  Saturday matinee show 3pm for 3.30pm.

Post feminist and cult queer icon Holestar returns to Vogue Fabrics with a tinsel infused festive version of Sorry I’m a Lady, where she celebrates ten years of international entertaining, showing off and gender bending with a special festive edition of her first one woman show.

Exploring her unconventional showgirl biography, the full length show covers her time in the British Army, mental health issues, as a professional dominatrix, artist, pop star, DJ and writer through song, storytelling and humour.

• And The Altenative Christmas Show
• Dark Fabrics Cabaret
• Vogue Fabrics, 66 Stoke Newington Road, N16 7XB
• Sunday 15th December, doors 7pm, show 7.30pm. £5

Dark Fabrics Cabaret is bringing the black glamour of traditional fin-de-siècle cabaret back to the dark streets of Dalston this December. Singers, mimes, shadow puppetry, comedy, pole-dancing, drag and clowning are all descending upon Vogue Fabrics for one special night of performance.

Hosted by Patricia Primarché, the hard-drinking, straight-talking, (not) straight, cheap drag queen, acts will include exceptional and unique approaches to contemporary subjects and theatrical storytelling from Silk Worm, Jack Cole, The Dark Doctor Lock, Luke & Harry, Lady Nina and Charlie Tuesday Gates.

Greeted by a veiled fortune-teller at the door, you’ll be given a tarot card in exchange for your five pounds of yore, which might just entail that you’re involved in the action during the night.

Choose from a normal drink at Vogue’s well-stocked bar or dare to take a cup of ‘Whatever the Fuck’s in the Teapot’. It’s going to be an exotic ride…



What’s on this week