Diva Live from Hell!

Damnation has never been so fun in Joe McNeice’s adaptation of Diva: Live from Hell. This one-man show is devilishly delightful in all that it does, a cabaret-style musical hellraiser that there is no way in the seven circles that anyone should miss.

Devilishly delightful

We are taken to the ‘Seventh Circle’ cabaret, where Desmond Channing (Luke Bayer) tells us about the events leading up to his death, as he and the Ronald Reagan High School drama club prepare for their fall musical. Events take a dark turn when newcomer, Evan (Bayer) starts to replace him and take over the club. In this carefully crafted show, Desmond shows and tells us why there is no way in hell why he would just let that happen.

Creating hell on earth isn't easy, and McNeice's creativity and vision has brought the seventh circle to life. By recreating a mundane highschool backdrop that is underscored with a dark and almost industrial-like atmosphere that hangs over the action like smog, at no point during the show can we escape the hell-scape that lurks underneath. From Alexander Sage Oyen’s orchestrations to Alistair Lindsay’s lighting design, everything contains a hellish flair that every so often reminds us that we are in fact all roasting in the deepest pit (not literally, the Turbine Theatre has very good air conditioning).

Raising more than a little hell, Bayer is an inferno, powering everything around him with a demonic and contagious energy as if the hounds of hell themselves were snapping at his heels. He owns the stage, his presence stretching out into the auditorium and holding us in his infernal grasp throughout the show. Continuously interacting with the band and techies supporting him, it is amazing to watch Bayer work and control everything around him, literally going mad with the power. Bayer's voice turns every number into a showstopper, shedding the skins of the various characters as he goes. His descent into madness is so incremental and cleverly disguised that it isn’t noticeable until it is, becoming a veritable devil before our eyes. There is no room to question whether Desmond Channing is a reliable narrator, there is a devilish glint in Bayer’s eye throughout his performance that convinces us that he is telling us the entire truth.

A damn good time, Diva: Live from Hell is worth going to the ends of the earth for. Well, Battersea but close enough. Completely wicked from start to end, Dante dare miss this show.

Reviews by Katerina Partolina Schwartz

The Stand Comedy Club

Helen Bauer: Madam Good Tit

Seven Dials Playhouse

Help! We Are Still Alive

Leicester Square Theatre

Rhys Nicholson - Rhys! Rhys! Rhys!

The Bridge House Theatre

Everybody Wants To Rule The World

The Playground Theatre

Rehab: The Musical

Soho Theatre



Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now



The Blurb

Join Desmond Channing in the Seventh Circle - hell’s most squalid cabaret club - as he recounts the grisly events that led him there. Inspired by All About Eve, this blood-stained love letter to Broadway will have you laughing hysterically and lusting for revenge. Starring Luke Bayer as Desmond, and every other character to boot, this one-act, one-person riot of a show will take you beyond the darkest depths and demonstrate exactly what it takes to earn the title of diva.

Most Popular See More

The Book of Mormon

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Grease the Musical

From £20.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Mousetrap

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets


From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Dear Evan Hansen

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Lion King

From £25.00

More Info

Find Tickets