Summerhall (venue 26)
Aug 9,16,23rd only
I’m not particularly “alternative” so I’m ashamed to say I’ve never heard of the Dive movement and club founded by London immigrant Miss Annabel Sings and co-founder Annabel Cooper as a space for anyone to party and feel comfortable expressing themselves. This Tuesday night show at Summerhall is a cabaret selection showcasing some of the performers from the Dive family. What is instantly noticeable entering the performance space is this very real sense of belonging – many are along not to perform, but just to support this very special collective.
Both Annabel’s have obviously put a hell of a lot of work into this, and it shows. The production values are top-notch, the programme is filled with a great variety of acts, and people not used to this kind of show will certainly find some moments shocking – exactly what’s needed on a Tuesday night! Miss Annabel Sings sets the tone for the evening by giving a sermon on life, and on being yourself. It’s very apt and promises a wonderful evening to come.
Alice Rabbit, host of CC Bloom’s drag and variety night Down The Rabbit hole takes us through a couple of Divine covers in her opening act. It’s a solid start, although having seen Alice Rabbit before, nothing too unexpected. Glasgow striptease artiste Jack Suroka then bakes a rather delicious looking cake to an iconic Dusty Springfield soundtrack. It’s just a shame Miss Annabel Sings forgot to remind the front row about the complimentary ponchos. Pepper Bakewell and Kevin Revlon then bring “Voguing” back into the 2010s with a very talented and energetic, if a little out of place in the cabaret context, dance routine.
For me, the highlight acts were very much saved for the second half of the evening. The legendary Texan Christeene takes to the stage as a sexually charged deranged American Indian for a rendition of Cum Inside My Stinky Place. She also helped audience bonding, instructing everyone to have a little butt squeeze of the person sitting beside them and, let’s be truthful, an evening is always improved by fondling a stranger.
Duo Bogof performed an insanely clever magic routine. I don’t want to spoil any part of their show, but this one trick has convinced me to go see their full performance. This was a spin on the usual “disappearing” trick gone wrong and was truly original and funny. Similarly, comedian David Mills gave a wonderfully dry stand-up routine that firmly put him on my list of shows not to miss.
Tuesday nights have never been so fun, so check out the next line-up at the Dive cabaret while you can.