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EastEnd Cabaret : Dirty Talk

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This show from EastEnd Cabaret seemed custom built for the Spiegeltent. Essentially it involved the two London lasses (the leading seductress in black bob-wig, lipstick and parachute pants, and her keyboard playing hermaphrodite sidekick in ludicrous half-drag) performing sexually-rooted, crowd-inclusive musical comedy. 

The titular Dirty Talk was rather explicit, but taking part in this spectacle never felt positively naughty. Sure, in a regular live music scenario songs about the many miraculous positions achieved when copulating with a “bendy man” or a perverse longing for physical unity with fellow public transport passengers would provoke many gasps. But, perhaps because of our everyday exposure to lurid pop culture, there weren’t that many permeating hot-flushes.

Nevertheless, the duo were full of clever surprises and the 60-minutes came to an end all too soon. For instance, a tune inspired by a David Bowie sex dream (specifically Bowie from the Labyrinth) turned into an account of a 1980s-celebrity orgy on Mars, featuring Mr. T and Cher going the distance while the Hoff watched on pleasuring himself. Another climax came from describing a spotlighted audience couple’s ultimate romantic evening going awry because he “put it in the wrong hole”. The warbling high note on the punch/hook-line “accidental anal” is surely one of this year’s festival highlights.

BY AUGUSTUS WELBY