Edinburgh Festival Fringe cabaret review: Dive and Summerhall present… C U Next Tuesday Cabaret, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Ben Walters
This weekly night of alternative acts and odd fun comes from year-round Edinburgh queer cabaret party Dive. Our host is Miss Annabel Sings, resplendent in shades and a pink-and-gold look, framed by a wooden flamingo, a rainbow piñata and what looks ominously like a scaffold. “We’re not your normal cabaret,” she says, “but what we do have is a community and a family”. Normal it sure ain’t.
The scaffold turns out to be kit for the first act, Skinny Redhead, who performs a mesmerising self-suspension routine, stringing herself up into a series of positions with expertly knotted ropes. It sets the tone for a line-up of diverse and experimental turns. Performance poets Rachel McCrum and Maguire weave words of romantic misadventure and sexual rebellion while Berlin-based musical comedy duo Sticky Biscuits sing of the joys of polyamory and intergenerational fisting with the aid of Stylophone and mouth-piano. Human glitterball Scottee delivers a knock-out clown act involving origami, sharks and his gag reflex. Drag cosmeticist Beautisha transforms a member of the audience beyond their wildest dreams. Diane Torr presents some skeezy boylesque, credibly inhabiting the physicality of a large, louche Lothario without any trousers. And, deploying gruesome video footage, an industrial soundtrack, a pig mask and a strap-on dildo, FK Alexander and P6 offer a piece about animal rights that can only be described as a visual and aural assault – which is presumably the point.
Plenty to get your teeth into, then, even if the pace is prone to dip, both within acts and across the night as a whole; the show overran by an hour. But it does indeed have a palpable sense of creative community – and this kind of freaky, flawed and provocative work is just the kind of thing a fringe festival worth the name should be trafficking in.
Summerhall (Venue 26), until 25 Aug, 8pm
Published in The Scotsman on 25 August 2015
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