The musical duo that make up EastEnd Cabaret look like they could have been dragged straight from a Berlin drag bar. Our chanteuse hostess Bernadette Byrne looks like a female Joel Grey, stretched through a mangle and doused with a serving of sexy; while her music slave, the half-man, half-woman Victor Victoria looks like the cross between a freak show and the Moulin Rouge. Of course, I mean all of this as a compliment.
The pair are impressive, both as performers and musicians. Byrne engages the audience perfectly with her smoldering,voluptuous French accent, while Victor Victoria’s awkward and often creepy personality acts as her perfect foil, provoking laughs with a single stare. Neither have any reservations about slinking into the crowd; Byrne could plonk herself on a punter’s lap at a moment’s notice and even dragged one on stage to simulate a night out with her.
However, it is not the personalities that make the show but the songs. Every single one is a winner: absurd, smutty and deliciously outrageous. By the end of the night you will understand the problems with deflowering virgins, will never look at bananas and vaginas in the same way again and will be far more enamoured to the idea of a danger-wank. Victor Victoria’s playing is also technically brilliant; it is not everyone who could create The Final Countdown using a microphone, their voice and a kazoo.
However, before Notoriously Kinky can inflate to perfection, it falls rather flaccid. Although the songs are brilliant, the chatter in between them has a tendency to drag - playing for awkward titters rather than for belly laughs; whipping these sections into shape would help the ebb and flow of the show. However, this minor complaint is nowhere near enough to ruin a show that advocates masturbation when stuck in traffic jams - how kinky.