- Gareth K Vile
- 29 August 2018
A real rocking cabaret that isn't stifled by politeness
In an increasing mainstream cabaret and variety programme, Carla Lippis and her live band are flying the flag for an alternative energy that isn't just signifying. Finishing the night with a raucous rendition of Too Drunk to Fuck by the Dead Kennedys, Midnight Marauders has a punk and spritely spirit that roars through the evening's entertainment without pausing to pander too often.
Pulling in acts from across the Fringe, the line-up is in a constant flux, but the show is driven by Lippis and her band. Having both a respect for rock and its glamorous, gender fluid edges, their set is ferocious and provocative: the acts sometimes feel like unnecessary interruptions to the flow of the band. Yet the selected guests hold up the queer dynamic of the evening, drawing on drag, burlesque and comedy – although the appearance of Spirit of the Fringe winners Glittery Clittery shifted the mood to a more laid-back yet forceful feminism.
The audience participation is inevitably the dullest part – alcohol is sprayed on the winner, and the whole routine feels forced and predictable, even if it does set the tone for the finale. However, Midnight Marauders is a reminder that variety nights can create their own identity and the hosts are always the stars of this show.