Review: Duckie at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern


Duckie is a weekly cabaret night performed in a well-known gay bar every Saturday night, with guest musical performers that are different every week.  (Required to see for Theatre class, don’t ask.)  The tavern itself is a warm, welcoming place nearly packed full of people, but this week’s musical guests, Sarah Redmond and Les Groom, did not quite live up to expectations.

Sarah Redmond’s act consisted of about fifteen minutes of comedic singing, including both reworked popular songs (Single Ladies and a Diamonds are Forever/Diamonds by Rhianna mash-up) and her own original musical tirades.  Her wide variety of voices distorted much of the music beyond comprehension and lost the value of the lyrics, instead just resulting in a rather grating effect.  Redmond has a commanding stage presence, but most of her jokes are basic and barely scratch the surface of what she seems capable of doing.

After a ‘short break’ between acts that lasted longer than the performances themselves and a hilarious interlude during which hostess Amy Lamé shared personal ads written by various club attendees as part of a Valentine’s Day matchmaker service, the second cabaret act came onstage.  Les Groom is a musical duo consisting of the personas ‘Johnny Woo’ and ‘Batty Lashes,’ tonight performing with only an acoustic guitar and their rather fabulous stage presences.  

Finally we get to see someone in drag, the two men sporting wigs, leotards, bikinis, bright yellow tights, and more glitter make-up than seems possible.  However, in addition to their stunning appearance, these men also displayed the true musical ability that the previous musical act lacked.  Their first number was a simple, beautiful acoustic guitar cover (unfortunately of a song I didn’t know), and their second, ‘I Can’t Get the Glitter out of the Groove,’ was as heartfelt and catchy as it was hilarious.  While simple, honest music without a gimmick was hardly what I was expecting from a gay cabaret club, it made a welcome change from the rest of the night.  If there was anything that this performance taught me, it is that cabaret is all about connecting with the audience on a personal level.  If you can do that, we’re sold.


One response to “Review: Duckie at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern

  1. Harlan & Sally Johnson

    Natalie, beautifully written. I think that I would have liked that show. I hope that you really liked Scotland. Two of your ancestors were from Scotland. William Wallace and Davidson. I will have to look into Davidson some more. Have a good time over there. Grandma J

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