Marcel Lucont: Cabaret Fantastique

The magical, dusky venue that is the Assembly Elegance Tent provided the perfect atmosphere for the night-time revels of Marcel Lucont’s Cabaret Fantastique.

Our host appeared, elegantly dressed with a glass of ‘vin rouge’ in his right hand, playing into the stereotype of a lethargic, rude and quite sexy Frenchman, and playing into it well. His set blended funny slapstick noises so prevalent in French comedy, with sardonic, faux-philosophising, with relentless anti-English propaganda. Highlights include every time he picked on an Australian woman in the first row – who he deemed as ‘the most easy’ – to be the recipient of his charming, misogynistic approaches, one in the form of a poetry recital.

We were first treated to a set by Simon Coronel, an ‘International Illusionist’ who recently won ‘Most original close-up act’ at FISM World Championships. Coronel’s not your average magician - without all the razzmatazz, he’s a down-to-earth easy-talker and a comfortable performer.

‘Tumble Circus’ was a real spectacle accompanied by some very pretty jewellery box music in the background. It consisted of two acrobats - a bumbling sort of man and a very elfin woman - literally tumbling over each other and sustaining quite incredible postures with seeming effortlessness. It was as if they were re-enacting a relationship's ups and downs in their routine, and a pillow was even comically stuffed up the woman's top to suggest pregnancy and what that does to couples. It was comedy, physical theatre, interpretive dance and acrobatics all in one act.

Our last act was ‘Cabaret Whore’, a French cabaret singer whose chosen persona for the night was Edith Piaf’s abandoned friend ‘The Frumpy Pigeon’. She belted out a song about words that have crossed the Anglo-French border, for example ‘flip-flop’ and ‘raison d'être’. The comedy was mild but her voice was pretty mind-blowing.

This is an enchanting show. If you’re looking for something to do on a Friday night out with friends or loved ones, this will definitely add a little ‘je ne sais quoi’ to the proceedings.

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.
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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.
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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.
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The Blurb

The Gallic legend presents a midnight feast of the Fringe's finest acts. Contains magic and tits. 'A perfect night out. No night's the same, but every one's a delight' ***** (Advertiser, Adelaide Fringe).

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