Supper Club at Checkpoint

Assembly’s Supper Club is up against the big, flashy late night circus revues and cabaret shows and sets out to compete with these by presenting many of the very best guest acts in variety at the Fringe.

the swagger and confidence to work the sedate crowd into a suitable display of enthusiasm

Ali McGregor is cabaret royalty, having started her career with Opera Australia before running away to join the circus as an original cast member of La Clique. She has the swagger and confidence that makes for an excellent compere for an evening’s entertainment and knows how to work the sedate crowd into a suitable display of enthusiasm for each intro.

Our first act is Carla Lippis who bounds onto the stage with real energy and spectacularly performs her classic soul songs with the excellent house band. She’s clearly having a great time; her performance entertains and she certainly makes a few folk in the audience note down the time and location of her own show (Counting House, 15:30).

One of the UKs best comedy magicians is next on the bill. The audience are a bit flat but there’s no way Pete Firman is going to let that stop him and he makes it through his set with his patented banterific style that’s less about the magic trick and more about the journey.

Our final act is the ever-wonderful duo Lords of Strut. They enter as a priest offering bread for sacrament and as Jesus who offers absolution by being pelted by the audience with said bread. This quickly descends into an orgy of flagellation as several audience members are invited to flog Jesus with pool noodles. It’s just as weird as it sounds, it involves a Clingfilm mankini and it’s utterly wonderful.

Late night cabaret can be a strange beast to review at the Fringe as you’re dealing with an ever-changing lineup and the experience will differ from night to night. Often one can focus in on the skill of the compere or the style of programming but The Supper Club casts a very wide net in its acts and features a different host for every show. Each guest is easily a four or five star act and yet the show as a whole doesn’t feel consistent. Some tech issues and a few clunky moments as acts exit and enter manage to drop the mood that McGregor works so hard to maintain.

If you’re looking for a late night revue that can guarantee some of the best acts on the Fringe then The Supper Club is the place to be; the night I saw somehow felt less than the sum of its parts.

Reviews by Frodo Allan

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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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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 £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
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Performances

Location

The Blurb

The glitz, the glamour, the good times. Edinburgh's finest cabaret stars line up late night at Checkpoint. Expect to be entertained, expect to be thrilled, expect to be debauched. Full line-ups at www.assemblyfestival.com.

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