Our very own cabaret aficionado Jason Reid peruses the upcoming cabaret events every month so you don’t have to, and picks his cream of the crop for Gay London Life.
It’s that time of the year when strange entities lurk in the shadows and things go bump in the night (not just at Pleasuredrome). The gays of London really do relish spooky season and there’s always a slew of great events happening, so let’s take a gander at my cabaret picks for ominous October…
Cabaret Open Mic at City of Quebec
Every Sunday, from 8pm
All styles of cabaret from stand-up comedy to dance and drag artistry to poetry are welcome at this open mic night at one of the UK’s oldest LGBTQ+ venues. The whole shebang is hosted by magnificent Violetta J’Adore. Free entry all night.
12 Old Quebec Street, W1H 7AF
Tube: Marble Arch
Cocktails and Cabaret at KU
Every Tuesday, from 7pm
In the Ku Lounge, which is situated above Ku Bar in Chinatown, established and up-and-coming cabaret artists take to the stage to perform dazzling shows, plus you can expect a splattering of Halloween cocktails and cabaret shenanigans this month!
30 Lisle St, WC2H 7BA
Tube: Leicester Square
Drag Race UK Viewing Party and Drag Bingo at Arch Clapham
Every Thursday, from 8pm
Watch the latest season of Drag Race UK as it happens with camp vintage queen Chanel N°5 who will no doubt proffer some insightful commentary (she keeps the scathing stuff for when she’s off the stage). Plus there’s Drag Bingo which is also headed by Chanel – with a smorgasbord of gorge prizes up for grabs. Book ahead to avoid disappointment, dears!
Arch 642, Voltaire Road, London, SW4 6DH
Tube: Clapham North
Chic at Freedom Soho
Every Thursday, from 10pm
Fabulous drag and sumptuous cocktails in a plush setting. What more can you ask for? For those who are looking for a late-night kiki, this is absolutely perfect. Mercedes Bends hosts on the 7th & 28th, Maria Renee on the 14th, and Heiress on the 21st. As the venue is so centrally located, there’s plenty of public transport links nearby for when you emerge squiffy at 3am.
66 Wardour Street, W1F 0TA
Tube: Piccadilly Circus
Mary Mac at The George and Dragon
Friday 6th, from 10pm
Drag powerhouse Mary Mac never fails to put on a hell of a show. She is a showbiz pro through and through. You can expect cheeky repartee and plenty of big numbers — with breathtaking vocals — ranging from 80s power ballads through to modern pop. Mary has just wrapped up a spectacular La Cage Aux Folles run at Regents Park Open Air theatre and she’s always been destined for great things, so catch her in these intimate settings while you can. I guarantee that you’ll come away much happier than when you arrived.
2 Blackheath Hill, SE10 8DE
Werq The World at The O2
Sunday 8th, 6.30pm
A dystopian drag sci-fi adventure starring RuPaul’s Drag Race alumni Angeria, Bosco, Daya Betty, Rosé, Ginger Minj, Kandy Muse, and more, plus special guest guest Bimini. This one-off show at the O2 — hosted by season 10 winner Aquaria — will surely be a night to remember for Drag Race devotees.
The O2, Peninsula Square, SE10 0DX
Tube: North Greenwich
Lola Lasagne at The Old Ship
Sunday 8th, from 9.30pm
Consummate cabaret from an artist who has funny bones and excels at pinpoint comic delivery. Take on Lola at your peril if you’re in the audience, unless you have a fetish for being publicly humiliated then go right ahead. It’s not all about the comedy though; you can also expect stirring renditions of musical theatre, pop and disco numbers. Free entry all night! A fantastic way to end the weekend.
17 Barnes Street, E14 7NW
Get Toasted with Marsha Mallow and friends at Halfway to Heaven
Friday 20th, from 8.30pm
Whenever I think of Marsha Mallow I instantly think FUN. And sometimes all one needs is to mince along to a drag show that is full to brimming with down-to-earth singalongs and bawdy banter — a revitalising recharge for the mind is the best way to describe it, and, crucially, a world away from the woes of modern living. Marsha’s special guest will be Welsh drag darling Dr Bev Ballcrusher. Free entry all night.
7 Duncannon Street, WC2N 4JF
Tube: Charing Cross
Cabaret All Stars – Murder On The Dancefloor at Proud Embankment
Saturday 28th, 6.30pm
This ghoulish cabaret will feature fangtastic drag, burlesque and circus artists who will render you spellbound. Freaky fun and chaos aplenty at a palatial venue!
8 Victoria Embankment, WC2R 2AB
The Brewers Family – Power Of Four at Two Brewers
Sunday 29th, from 4pm
Prepare to have the willies put up you at this special Halloween edition of the Brewers’ popular Power Of Four dragathon. There will be fiendish shows from Son Of a Tutu, Mary Mac, Marsha Mallow, and Sandra. Party till late post-cabaret with DJ Demon. Free entry before 6pm.
114 Clapham High Street, SW4 7UJ
Tube: Clapham North
Make sure you give Jason a follow @jasonreiduk