Tonight I figured out how to beam a Facebook video to my TV so I could watch – amongst other things – a burlesque performer do a striptease on a unicycle. The event was The Phoenix Arts Club’s reaction to all this self-isolation called Live From The Phoenix Flat. And it’s brilliant.
The antidote we need for the doom and gloom of a shut-in pandemic
Like the turns at the physical club on Charing Cross Road, the line up changes nightly, but tonight to kick this experiment off, it was hosted by the larger-than-life Myra DuBois assisted by chanteuse Sooz Kempner and Michael Webborn on the piano streaming from a basement flat somewhere in Bloomsbury via Facebook’s live video platform.
DuBois holds this together remarkably well given it’s a first outing (in-ing?) for this brave new apocalypse. Quips about social distancing and the general human predicament at the moment are liberally splattered between songs from DuBois and Kempner plus the aforementioned novelty of Velma Von Bon Bon removing several layers of clobber to the tune of YMCA on that unicycle.
It’s a little anarchic, with crew crossing the set to make tea in the kitchen and on-screen graphics being resized before your eyes, but they’ve brought in a proper sound system and lighting set up to give this modest lounge in a London flat a real cabaret vibe. It’s absolutely the antidote we need for the doom and gloom of a shut-in pandemic and we’re definitely going to need more of as the weeks (months?) drag on.
Viewers can optionally tip the artists, and I encourage you to do so in this new economic reality of our entertainers unsure of the next paycheck. It was encouraging to hear the website collecting tips crashed so often with the volume of people trying to donate. (Apparently those technical problems will be addressed as soon as possible).
Live From The Phoenix Flat is planned to broadcast Saturdays (The Saturday Supershow LIVE) and Sundays (A Night In Soho) from 8.30pm ‘til 10.30pm from The Phoenix Arts Club’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/phoenixartsclub.