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.
LGBTQ+ cabaret has always been at the forefront of bringing our community together, with queens, kings and things acting as conduits in order to rouse us to stand proud in the face of adversity. There is strength, love and solidarity in spades at every single cabaret event. Reminding ourselves of that is important — particularly during troubling times like those we’ve witnessed recently. Now, let’s check out my top picks for September…
Cocktails and Cabaret at Ku bar
Every Thursday, from 7pm
Glamazon Luna Cortez hosts this dazzling cabaret night every week which takes place at the legendary Ku Bar in the heart of Chinatown. Always a great night out, and the cocktails are scrumptious!
30 Lisle St, WC2H 7BA
Tube: Leicester Square
The Big Bingo at City Of Quebec
Every Thursday, from 8pm
Everyone loves a spot of bingo! And even more so when there’s drag queens involved because that means camp chaos and laughs aplenty. Join Anna Toni and Tania LeCoq every Thursday at one of London’s oldest LGBTQ+ venues which is a mere hop, skip and mince from Marble Arch tube.
12 Old Quebec Street, W1H 7AF
Tube: Marble Arch
CK Sunday at Halfway to Heaven
Every Sunday, from 4pm
Sunday cabaret at its very best. Hosted by accomplished drag duo Crystal D’Canter and Kelly Mild, CK Sunday is a tour de force of drag cabaret which has been running continuously for a staggering 16 years — a testament to the love there is for the two queens and the marathon show which spans across approximately three hours in total every Sunday. There’s something for everyone, from disco, pop, country, ballads, 80s, and much more. All sung totally live. Plus there’s always plenty of cheeky and warm-hearted repartee. What’s more, entry is free all day (which is a rarity these days). If you’ve never been to a CK Sunday, that needs to be rectified ASAP!
Tube: Charing Cross
High on Heels at Freedom
Wednesday 6th, from 10 pm
A night of fierce and fabulous drag at this classy cabaret hangout. Hosted by Mercedes Bends, with guests Dede Licious, Kynn De Lynn and Lucy Santana Fernandez, plus DJ Aaron Bladen. A midweek dragstravaganza!
66 Wardour Street, W1F 0TA
Tube: Piccadilly Circus
LIPSYNC100 Grand Final at Clapham Grand
Thursday 14th, from 6.30pm
Following eight weeks of exhaustive heats and dramarama, 18 drag artists take to the stage for one last time, and with one aim – to snag that illustrious title and £1000 cash prize. Hosted by Rhys’s Pieces and Sue Gives A Fuck.
Overground: Clapham Junction
Drag Down The Borders at Matchstick Piehouse
Saturday 23rd, from 7pm
If you like radical drag, this event will be your bag. With the gloriously skittish drag priest Sweet FA hosting, plus performances from Beau Jangles, Charlie Wood, Die Lemma, Harddeep Singh, Mild Peril, Pip Dream, Ula Lah, T33n Angst, The Ick, and Valentín. All money raised goes to The Bibby Stockholm legal challenge fund, Rainbow Migration, SOAS Detainee Support, and Captain Support. Try and get along to support this if you can! Cracking line-up and great value for money!
213-214 Edward Street, SE8 5HD
David Dale at The Old Ship
Saturday 23rd, 9.30pm
A bona fide drag legend who is a master of their art — which includes classic mime, live music, and comedy — performing at a gorgeous homely gay boozer. Some things are meant to be together. Free entry all night. A short mince from Limehouse DLR.
17 Barnes Street, E14 7NW
Glam Jam at Ye Olde Rose and Crown
Sunday 24th, from 5pm
Now an institution in its own right, Glam Jam is hosted and weaved together by Lady Imelda who never fails to stun with her divine vocals, and CJ who is an expert at pounding the keys. Audience members can also have their moment in the spotlight — simply reserve a spot, and sing out, Louise!
1 Crooms Hill, Greenwich, SE10 8ER
DLR: Cutty Sark
Moderate Danger at John the Unicorn
Sunday 24th, from 8pm
Captivating drag and live art from Mild Pearl who performs at John the Unicorn every last Sunday of the month. Whenever I’ve seen Mild perform I’ve been impressed by the evident deep cogitation that goes into their art. Free entry.
157-159 Rye Lane, SE15 4TL
Tube: Peckham Rye
Les Misérables at The Glory
Wednesday 27th, 7.45pm
A queer comedy night featuring artists who regularly appear on TV and in comedy clubs. This time, there’ll be sets from Katie Price (not that one), Pravanya Pillay and Sam Williams. Profits from this event go to the NSPCC which works to prevent child abuse and helps those affected to recover. A night of laughter for a great cause.
281 Kingsland Rd, London E2 8AS