Club TGV Cabaret

Fri 21st March – Fri 16th May 2014

reviews

Sophie Milner

at 02:14 on 22nd Mar 2014

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Having never been to the Wardrobe Theatre before, finding it proved a little difficult. Upon eventually finding the secret (read: right in front of me) door in The White Bear leading up this cosy and welcoming little venue, I was ushered into Club TGV Cabaret with the comforting words, ‘It’s mostly old people in there, but I hope you enjoy it anyway!’ and indeed, I was easily the youngest person in the audience. Nevertheless, thanks to the friendliness of the organisers I was made to feel right at home.

Their tagline, ‘Comedy, music, spoken word and other cool stuff,’ was essentially accurate, but also the vaguest introduction to the surreal variety show which followed.

First up was Slow Erosion (a local band who formed at the Cube). Though unpolished, their short R.E.M.-reminiscent, minor key set of murmuring vocals was well-received by the audience. Their style was described as ‘psychedelic as hell;’ and it really was. The informal nature of the venue was enhanced by the frontman strolling on stage with his shirt buttoned up wrong, brandishing his dinner (a Co-op bag of Smarties) – and somehow remaining deadpan throughout.

There were even more snacks to come; Groovy Biscuits were handed out during the interval along with the request to write a current affairs haiku. After this, the Slow Erosion frontman returned to read a couple of poems. As a fan of performance poetry, I quite enjoyed his ranting lists, particularly the aptly-named ‘Stuff’ – though I have to admit that it wasn’t for everyone. Nor were the Roll Sisters, a duo who seemed to be performing an elaborate in-joke, parodying country music with rewritten lyrics to Jolene.

Next to the stage was the fifteen-year-strong double act, Project Adorno (Praveen Manghani and Russell Thompson), who delighted with their quirky, nerdy and somewhat middle-aged repertoire of songs about astronomy, computer games, the National Trust and Jeremy Paxman. They even dabbled in a bit of Time Lord Rock, singling out Tom Baker as their favourite Doctor Who (even though we all know that David Tennant was the best). Creative uses of instruments were everywhere: a kazoo was a merry addition to their slideshow of pictures of Tom Baker, and at one point a Rubix cube was being used for percussion, before being handed to a member of the audience to solve. For me, the highlight of the whole show was Project Adorno’s ode to cast iron coal hole covers, ‘Coal Hole Cover Lover,’ which gave them the opportunity to showcase their Microsoft Powerpoint prowess. It must be noted, though, that some of the featured coal holes were actually man holes; in my view, a gross oversight.

All in all: Club TGV Cabaret was not exactly my scene but I can recommend this event to anybody who wants something a little different and unpredictable on a Friday night. Very eclectic indeed.

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