Lili La Scala: Another F*cking Variety Show

For a night of revelry and a hot mix of incredible performances, Lili La Scala’s Another F*cking Variety Show is a tough show to rival. With assistance from her wonderfully expressive pianist Tom, Lili is the perfect cabaret hostess. She warms the audience up before every act, and thrills with a range of raunchy musical numbers which are peppered throughout the show.

Lili La Scala brought together a brilliant stack of talent, demonstrating her ability to attract quality performers

Interestingly, the best act was introduced first. Maple Staplegun’s hula hoop manipulations are simply mesmerising. And somehow, whilst maintaining a perfect control of her hoops, she manages to incorporate physical comedy and a quirky stage persona. Maple is magnificent, and can be caught performing on the Royal Mile over the course of the festival.

Another highlight of this particular cabaret was a handstand act by Natalie Reckert, who feels “invincible and superhuman” when she’s doing her handstands. Natalie’s strength and flexibility are astounding, and the poem accompanying her act is simply beautiful. Sarah Louise Young and Michael Roulston contributed to the evening with songs from their character comedy, La Poule Plombée, which are hilariously funny and clearly well-written: an enchanting duo.

Other acts that evening included stand-up Phil Ellis, brilliant physical comedian Tessa Waters (appearing in Over Promises, 8.15pm daily at Gilded Balloon), and the wonderfully sassy drag queen Myra DuBois, who contributed an hysterical musical performance, and can be caught at every day at 9pm (Gilded Balloon). The final act of the night, a group Lili has apparently spent a lot of time stalking online, was The Lounge Kittens. Their version of Bloodhound Gang’s Foxtrot Uniform Charlie Kilo unfortunately couldn’t compare to Lili’s rendition of Bloodhound Gang’s The Bad Touch, suffering for the contrast, but they really came into their own while performing a stunning medley of emo tunes that most twenty-somethings will love. Of all of the acts, Ellis stood out for all the wrong reasons: he didn’t appear particularly focussed or prepared for his performance, perhaps having struggled to adapt his routine for a cabaret segment.

Overall, however, Lili La Scala brought together a brilliant stack of talent, demonstrating her ability to attract quality performers, and to create a strongly assembled variety show. Wearing a collection of sparkly cocktail dresses throughout the cabaret, with perfect hair and make-up, she certainly looked the part, and with her excellent singing voice and confident interaction with audience members, she acted it to perfection too. My only slight criticism is that her choice of Bowie tribute changed the atmosphere of the room rather significantly, after the fun tone of the rest of the performance. Though Space Oddity is an incredible song, and Lili’s rendition was beautiful, another may have been more appropriate to the night. Especially as the alluring voice used for Lili’s character doesn’t lend well to sounding sincere when discussing Bowie.

If you’re looking for an entertaining evening, one that will open your eyes to performers around the city that you mightn’t have stumbled on otherwise, go see Lili. She’ll take excellent care of you.

Reviews by Ailish George

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The Blurb

Mistress of ceremonies Lili La Scala and her most beloved cabaret reprobates entertain you at this rollicking late-night show. With sell-out runs at the Fringe since 2012, guests are treated to the very best on the international cabaret, burlesque and comedy circuit. This cabaret spectacular will warm the heart and boggle the mind; previous guests include comedian Jason Manford, The Boy With Tape On His Face and burlesque starlet Vicky Butterfly to name but a few. Come and feast your eyes upon a veritable variety smorgasbord: comedy, magic, burlesque, music and more.