The Cafe de Paris with its mock-rococo decor and glamorous history proved the perfect venue for the London Cabaret Awards 2015. The event, created by Excess All Areas producer Paul L Martin celebrates the wealth and diversity of talent on offer to Londoners practically every day of the week. As the evening’s host – the inimitable Myra Dubois – pointed out, London offers the most varied, most glamorous and arguably the wackiest cabaret scene in the world.
Now in its fifth year, the awards have become an integral and exciting part of the cabaret calendar. This year’s judging panel consisted of theatre critic Paul Vale, director and producer Oliver Jack, burlesque guru Jo King, cabaret photographer Tas Kyprianou and producer Samuel Joseph. Over the last year, between them they have scoured the capital, travelling to venues large and small checking out the great and good currently adorning the cabaret circuit.
The sell-out audience at the Cafe de Paris was treated to performances from The Folly Mixtures, Ladies GoDiva, Bruce Airhead, Bettsie Bon Bon and Desmond O’Connor, while Myra Dubois’ ferocious humour snapped chunks out of the appreciative audience. A sense of familiarity and fun prevailed, and while some of the winners proved controversial, there was also plenty of reason for celebration around the room.
Best Vocal Act was won by Alison Jiear, who performed as part of the London Festival of Cabaret at the St James, while producer Ruth Leon picked up the award for Best Venue for the Crazy Coqs. David Bedella won the award for Best Ongoing Production for David Bedella & Friends, a late-night cabaret show currently playing monthly at the St James Studio. Bedella was unable to accept his award, as the actor is currently performing in the new touring production of The Producers in which he is playing Roger De Bris.
The winner of the Outstanding Achievement Award was Fascinating Aida, who are currently touring with their show Charm Offensive.
Here’s a full list of winners:
Best Vocal Performer: Alison Jiear
Best Musical Variety Act – EastEnd Cabaret
Best Drag Act – Holestar
Best Host: Dusty Limits
Best Burlesque Act – Miss Polly Rae
Best Circus/Speciality Act – Siro-A
Best Alternative Performer – Twice Shy Theatre
Best Newcomer – Lilly SnatchDragon
Best One-Off Production – Drag Queens of London
Best Ongoing Production – David Bedella & Friends
Best Cabaret Venue – Crazy Coqs
Audience Award – Dott Cotton
Unsung Hero Awards – Slim Chance
Outstanding Achievement Award – Fascinating Aida