The Lulu Show: Life on the Never-Never
  • By M Johnson
  • |
  • 22nd Aug 2017
  • |
  • ★★★★★

The Lulu Show: Life on the Never-Never is exactly what you want from a cabaret. Hilde Louside’s sly and sexy piece examines the financial crisis – via burlesque, jazz and sharp humour. Lulu and her jazz trio are a masterclass in blending tradition and pushing what is possible with the form.

As much educational information as a problem play, with a better sense of humour

Louside’s is a magnetic stage presence, impossible to ignore, demanding the audience’s attention with a flick of her eyelashes. The performance starts off deceptively simple with a few songs about shoes and chocolate; lulling you into a false sense of security. Cleverly raising the idea of giving into your fantasies the pleasure of indulging and consuming. She goes on to open up about her romance with finances. Being seduced by the bank to keep spending, and tracking the reasons and effects of all these people spending money they don’t have. This continues right up to where we are today; where the consequence-free party is still going.

Lulu’s routines are subversively funny, energetically and stylishly performed; the lyrics are witty and darkly clever, and the songs catchy. The choreography oozes glamour and panache, as Lulu burns though a huge number of costume changes and stage tricks; clothes on, only to come off again. Her distinctive sultry singing voice pairing beautifully with the atmospheric classic jazz. Also the vignettes contain as much educational information as a problem play, with a better sense of humour.

This is the ideal show to be taking place in a dark basement. With its flawless vintage aesthetic it looks right at home slotted under the Rose Theatre. This is an excellent, educational burlesque show I would recommend to anyone as it works for established and new cabaret fans. Also for anybody interested in innovative ways of exploring complex ideas onstage, such as the financial crisis. 

Reviews by M Johnson

Old Fire Station - Cafe

An Intervention

★★★
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Little Gift

★★★
Assembly Roxy

Thor and Loki

★★★
Paradise in The Vault

Quines

★★★★
Gilded Balloon Teviot

Grace

★★
Summerhall

Status

★★★

Since you’re here…

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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

A witty, sexy cabaret on shoes, finance and other perversities. Norwegian multi award-winning actress and singer Hilde Louise is Lulu. Accompanied by her swinging jazz trio, she undresses the pleasure of spending money we don't really have and how the bank becomes your pimp, revealing the secret suicide pact of the financial industry. The ultimate guilty pleasures we don't want to talk about. Coming from one of the richest countries in the world, Lulu gives a masterclass on how to go bankrupt with style. 

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