Best Cabaret shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2016
15 acts describe their show in 50 words or less
From sex clowns to transvestite cowboys, and singing amputees to dancing magicians, the Fringe has all its cabaret bases well and truly covered. Here, we asked a selection of acts to sell us their show in a mere 50 words …
Briefs is the illegitimate love child of circus and cabaret. The shotgun wedding reception of burlesque and drag. The award-winning mongrel of variety and vaudeville. Briefs is a 60-minute high-intensity glitter bombing of serious skill, feisty fashion, club-kid kook and burlesque with balls.
Assembly Hall, Mound Place, 6–21 Aug (not 8, 15), 10.30pm, £16–£17.50 (£15–£16). Previews 4 & 5 Aug, £12.
Rachael Clerke and the Great White Males: Cuncrete
I’ve been dressing as a bloke for years. I’ve always wanted to be the singer in a punk band. And concrete genuinely turns me on. Are you up for four sweaty women dressed as the worst kind of great white male, making noise and dancing in wet cement?
Summerhall, 5–26 Aug (not 8, 15, 22), 10pm, £10 (£8). Preview 3 Aug, £8.
Sven Ratzke: Starman
Starman is a dazzling musical trip into the world of David Bowie and my own life. From London to Berlin, it’s the story of meeting strange creatures. Hear beautiful music that touches your heart and makes you dance on your chair. This is a unique rock‘n’roll cabaret experience!
Assembly George Square Gardens, George Square, 6–28 Aug (not 15, 22), 8.45pm, £15–£16. Previews 4 & 5 Aug, £10.
A Cup of Tea with Lady C
Edinburgh, are you ready for me? After my early years and marriage, the snakes and vipers in the jungle – I’m not referring to the animal kind – were a dawdle. I’ll be telling all in my one-woman show. I’ll be bringing my tiara, naturally, and a lot of fun and feeling.
Gilded Balloon, Bristo Square, 6–28 Aug (not 16), 3pm, £12 (£10). Preview 5 Aug, £5.
Grumble: Sex Clown Saves the World
Feeling confused, overwhelmed and suffocated by the seemingly unfeeling grinding of a socio-political landscape bereft of humanity and hurtling us towards Orwellian catastrophe? You sound Betty to Grumble! With ceremonial precision and deranged wit, Betty Grumble enslaves her audience with a powerful call to arms.
Underbelly, Cowgate, 6–28 Aug (not 10, 15, 17, 22), 8.45pm, £10.50–£12.50 (£9.50–£11.50). Previews 4 & 5 Aug, £6.
Nils Bergstrand: The One Legged Man Show
The true story of how an amputee came to be. With his beautiful voice, Nils Bergstrand sings heartbreaking and, surprisingly given the subject, humorous songs. Through storytelling, he manages to turn his tragedy around, sharing his honest observations that may change your relationship to disability. You’ll cry, you’ll laugh (possibly).
Spotlites, George Street, 5 28 Aug, 3.15pm, £10 (£9). Preview 4 Aug, £9.
Discover who has the fastest tits in the west, get taken on a horse ride by a transvestite cowboy, go tripping on peyote cactus-juice with the condemned. See whips being cracked, knives being thrown, ghost riders flying on hoverboards, and lasers being fired from places where the sun don’t shine.
Underbelly’s Circus Hub, Middle Meadow Walk, 6–22 Aug (not 15), 7pm, £17.50–£18.50 (£16.50–£17.50). Previews 4 & 5 Aug, £9.
La Clique Encore!
Since 2004, we’ve played over 10,000 performances, winning Olivier Awards and launching countless careers along the way. Our show reinvented a genre and is now the hallmark. We always provide a night to remember, forever surprising, sexy, funny and dangerous! A guaranteed, gold plate Fringe fave!
Famous Spiegeltent, St Andrew Square, 3–29 Aug, 9.30pm, £22 (£20).
Anya Anastasia: Torte e Mort – Songs of Cake and Death
I love crafting clever, meaningful lyrics while exploring ways that make performing a thrill: how many positions can I play piano while singing? How can I sing as a decapitated head in a cabinet? How can I hide the fact I’m naked using only my ukulele … ?
Assembly George Square Theatre, George Square, 6–29 Aug (not 15), 6pm, £10–£12 (£11). Previews 4 & 5 Aug, £6.
Lili La Scala: Another Fucking Variety Show
I have a passion for variety and AFVS gives me the perfect outlet to bring some of my favourite acts together to create a night of glorious vaudeville. I also adore gowns, so there will be plenty of those too. And songs. Enough songs to keep everyone happy. It’ll be cracking.
Pleasance Dome, Bristo Square, 6 27 Aug (not 15, 22), 11pm, £9.50–£10.50 (£8.50–£9.50). Previews 4 & 5 Aug, £6.
The Final, Final Farewell Tour of Dick and Delores DelRubio
This is the DelRubios’ farewell tour and their last days as a married couple. This will be Delores’ eighth divorce after marriages to Elvis Presley and Donald Trump. She considers herself a much older Taylor Swift and believes Edinburgh may get new songs from their divorce. Dick won’t comment.
TheSpace @ Surgeons Hall, Nicolson Street, 15–27 Aug (not 21), 12.05pm, £10 (£8; family ticket £6.50).
Peter and Bambi Heaven: The Magic Inside
We are the Gold Coast’s most deluded dancing magical duo and after our first Australian world tour we’re packing those tucker-bags and coming to the Fringe. However, due to some visa / cash flow problems we’ve had to fire the ensemble cast, but rest assured Edinburgh, magic will still happen.
Assembly George Square Gardens, George Square, 6–28 Aug (not 15), 10.30pm, £12–£13. Previews 4 & 5 Aug, £8.
Cabaret Whore Presents … La Poule Plombée
We return to the Fringe with the most popular of our Cabaret Whore characters, La Poule Plombée. Her thrilling stage presence and extraordinary vocals make for a high impact show. It also features co-writer Michael Roulston as her pianist, sidekick and dogsbody. Their story is tragic and darkly hilarious.
Voodoo Rooms, West Register Street, 5–28 Aug (not 8, 15, 22), 6.30pm, £10–£12.
Michael Griffiths: Cole
Last year it was Annie Lennox, the year before it was Madonna. Now I’m putting Cole Porter under the microscope. Spend an hour with ‘Cole’ at the piano as I sing some of your favourite tunes and regale you with tales from his truly outrageous life.
Assembly George Square Gardens, George Square, 6–29 Aug (not 16), 6pm, £10–£12. Previews 4 & 5 Aug, £6.
The Fabulous Punch and Judy Show
If you’re looking for a comedy that is jam-packed with violence, lashings of sex, obscenity, bare bums, spectacular costumes and make-up, look no further. We reckon The Fabulous Punch and Judy Show is good old-fashioned camp fun and we’re thrilled to be bringing it back to Edinburgh.
Gilded Balloon at the Counting House, West Nicolson Street, 6–29 Aug (not 16, 23), 9.45pm, £8 (£6.50). Previews 3–5 Aug, £5.
Hot Brown Honey
We will make you laugh until you cry, clap until your hands bleed and shake every part of what your mama gave you. Fierce and unapologetic, Hot Brown Honey is a celebration of undeniable proportions. Take a breath, check your privilege at the door and let’s get sticky!
Assembly Roxy, Roxburgh Place, 6–28 Aug (not 15, 22), 8.20pm, £15–£16 (£14–£15). Previews 3–5 Aug, £10.