Magic Faraway Cabaret

Now enjoying its third year in Edinburgh, the Magic Faraway Cabaret has a reputation for presenting the best burlesque, variety and sideshow skills available in the Scottish capital. By its very nature, it's a fluid, changeable beast, dependent on who's free on the night, but it's a welcome opportunity for audiences to sample a number of the acts performing elsewhere at Fringe.

The one 'still' point of Magic Faraway Cabaret is, of course, the personable form of Dave the Bear, a master of ceremonies who is as skilled at working the crowd with words as he is at provocatively peeling off a glove with his teeth. Along with sound-man and self-described 'old-fashioned gay' Mister Meredith, they are the naughty-but-nice heart of this particular cabaret.

Not that there's really such a thing but (for the sake of argument), a 'typical' Magic Faraway Cabaret begins with a sexy song by Dave the Bear and then a programme alternating between burlesque and musical/variety performers. On the particular evening for this review, the burlesque performers gave a good indication of this art form's range: Eliza DeLite was a graceful dancer, feather-fanning her way through Rhapsody in Blue; Diva Hollywood presented a Burlesque transformation inspired by the fairytale of the Little Mermaid; while Aurora Galore ripped the stage as (according to Dave the Bear) the 'fiercest thing out of Croydon'. In contrast, there was music from the ukulele-playing Tricity Vogue (sharing her sexual history in one two minute song), the aforementioned Mister Meredith asking 'What is a Man?', and a short sample of comedian and political activist Kate Smurthwaite's observations on life, American ex-husbands and pathetic online death-threats.

Part of the fun is that there's little or no indication of what you'll get on a particular evening until he or she walks on stage, but it's fair to point out that the Magic Faraway Cabaret generally provides a lively assortment of entertainments and is definitely worth considering if you're looking for something a little saucy, a little lively, and someone who might just be the next big thing.

Reviews by Paul F Cockburn

Multiple Venues


Dundee Rep Theatre / Macrobert Arts Centre

The Yellow on the Broom

Underbelly, Bristo Square

Tom Neenan: It's Always Infinity

Assembly George Square Studios

Police Cops in Space

Gilded Balloon Rose Theatre

Rik Carranza: Still a Fan

Gilded Balloon Rose Theatre




The Blurb

The best of the Fringe’s burlesque, variety and sideshow join this ‘fab lil’ cabaret party’ (Time Out). Body of Burlesque, Dave the Bear and Mustachioed-Tom-of-Finland Mister Meredith compere enchanted worlds showcasing different line-ups every night.