Through the revolving doors of Hotel Cafe Royal, I found myself sitting amongst the grandest of settings, a long narrow room decorated with mirrored walls and luxurious Parisian gold Louis XVI detailing. The aptly named Oscar Wilde Bar, a bar made famous by the affair between Oscar Wilde and Lord Alfred Douglas, the bar where Bowie chose to retire Ziggy Stardust and where I experienced my first ever Cabaret: the 'Salon des Artistes' by The Black Cat Cabaret.
To say I enjoyed the Salon des Artistes would be an understatement, the performers were impeccable and their enthusiasm was infectious. From the outset, our host for the evening, Dusty Limits, had the crowd in stitches by singing a number which incorporated all the names of the males in audience. Lili La Scala, was beautifully dressed and serenaded us masterfully with her beautiful voice and an unexpected selection of songs, Florian Brooks wowed with perfect balance and the juggling of bar items and balls. The veils and clothes of Vicky Butterfly flowed across the dance floor and the sultry and husky tones of Lady Rizo ended a truly fun evening at the Salon des Artistes.
The quirkyness of the show was highlighted by the pianist, who when sitting down appeared to be wearing a brownish grey suit, but mid-way through the show casually strolled across the floor to reveal a very short mini skirt and high heals. He made it seem so every day, and it was brilliant.
If I had one criticism, it would be that the show was too short. By the time it had started, it felt like it had finished. Some would say this isn't a criticism, that a good performance should make time feel like it has flown by (and 2 bottles of wine helps) but I left wanting more. This is but a minor issue though, overall, the setting of the Oscar Wilde Bar and the fantastic performers made this a memorable night and a first excursion into Cabaret that I intend to continue.
To book tickets for Salon des Artistes, check out their website.