A review of
The first half hour of the show was, frankly, hilarious.
For those who don’t know the set up, EastEnd Cabaret comprises frontwoman Bernadette Byrne (played by Jennifer Byrne), a typical vaudevillian uber-nymph, and her pianistic, semi-transvestite sidekick Victor Victoria (played by Victoria Falconer-Pritchard). Hailing from Hackney (hence the ‘EastEnd’ in their name), they reflect its quirky hipsterism and make several references to the much-lampooned East London lifestyle in their songs.
The first half hour of the show was, frankly, hilarious. After Bernadette emerged from the recesses, she chose two male members of the audience to kneel down and carry her to the stage - a fitting entrée that established the sexual dominance that is so integral to her character. Sat atop her ‘man-beast’ (her words, not mine), Bernadette soon broke into her first, frivolous number about her newfound mode of human transportation. The cabaret had begun.
The show was stitched together by a kind of sub-plot that revealed Victor Victoria’s deep-seated desires for Bernadette, who unfortunately was far more interested in the erotic potential of her audience. At one point, this saw Victor Victoria jealously eject a man from the stage, only for Bernadette to run after him to offer her profuse apologies. And so we were alone with our host/hostess, and it was awkward. Very awkward. Falconer-Pritchard didn’t have as much command of the room, and in the next ten minutes or so the show seemed to lose its structure.
That aside, however, the evening offered the kind of reliable entertainment that we have come to expect from EastEnd Cabaret, and if you are yet to see these girls in action, maybe it’s time to give them a try.