Abigail's Party: Comedy Cabaret
- Arusa Qureshi
- 21 August 2017
A strange and wonderful chat-show party with special star 'guests'
Abigail Burdess is having a midlife crisis party and we're all invited. Along with her glamorous assistant / one-man backing band Dave, she's here as host and entertainer of this anarchic bash, offering us games, songs and hilarious insights on what it means to get older. Though the show depends upon the appearances of regularly rotating special appearances, when Burdess reveals that her first guest is none other than spoken-word sensation Kate Tempest, it soon becomes apparent that the majority will be played by the pair themselves.
Throughout the Comedy Cabaret, we hear from Tempest, Melania Trump, and Burdess' mum, all of whom are fantastically exaggerated caricatures, with Burdess drawing out particular characteristics with comic zeal. With Tempest, for example, she dons a messy blonde wig and backwards cap, dramatically stating her intention to explain spoken word to the audience through … spoken word. Melania Trump is depicted as the daft and innocent First Lady, hiding her true self (which happens to be the devil incarnate), while her mum only comes out when Burdess expresses her worries of becoming just like her.
Tonight's genuine special guest was cabaret act Desmond O'Connor, whose quirky ukulele-accompanied jingles added an extra layer of silliness to the party atmosphere. Along with these excellent sketches and well-chosen guests, the banter between Abigail and Dave is what makes the show. Their self-mockery and witty interplay contributes to the playful, if chaotic, energy of this strange and wonderful experience.
Underbelly Med Quad, until 28 Aug, 9.50pm, £9–£10 (£8–£9).