Little Death Club
Underbelly Festival Southbank
Reviewed – 25th April 2019
“the collection of performers that were gathered at this cabaret were unbelievably talented”
Bernie Dieter’s Little Death Club is a celebration of us, a place to let loose and celebrate our differences and, if you’re the man in the third row, a place for you to get your face slammed in the crotch of Dieter herself.
As soon as you walked into the venue, reminiscent of a circus big top, you were hit with colour changing lights, smoke and a rocking band playing you to your seat. When the show started after a small delay, it was worth the wait. The audience was greeted first by the emcee Bernie Dieter, who began to sing before making her way into the audience on the prowl for a man, or many men. She talked about the importance of human connection, literally, as she straddled one man, head in crotch and grabbed four other men in a touching war. Dieter was able to draw in the audience from the moment she stepped onto the stage through her use of song and comedy.
As much as it was Dieter’s show, the collection of performers that were gathered at this cabaret were unbelievably talented, commanding the stage in their own right. Some stand out performers include Beau Sargent, a contortionist and aerial act who “blurs the lines of gender and preconception.” He performed two acts, one of which was twisting his body in positions that seem impossible. Then, towards the end of the show, he performed an emotional aerial act with Dieter singing behind him, the words, “is this the woman you thought you would grow to be” as Sargent took of his heels and weaved his way in and out of the flying ring. What seemed to be almost a commentary on queerness and freedom, or the lack thereof, was a nice break from the fire and nudity and all around debauchery.
Another stand out performer, was Fancy Chance (Veronica Thomson) who came out, fabric floating through the air as she swung her arms in a mesmerising manner. What started as a simple and beautiful act became an incredible and dangerous act of chance, being lifted up hanging only by her hair. She swung and spun through the air as the audience watched, necks craned and mouths opened. Her clothes were then ripped off in a comedic turn as she came down from the air before embracing her nude body and once again, leaping, full force, into the air.
The cabaret also included exciting performances from Myra Dubois, a comedic drag queen, Josh Glanc, a mime (who lamented about the cons of being a mime), and Kitty Bang Bang, a fire breathing goddess. This cast of performers each brought a genuine electric fire to the stage.
As the show ended, Dieter sent the crowd out into the London night, reinforcing the message that it is important, in this scary world we live in, to never let anyone tell us our differences are not to be celebrated.
Reviewed by Tobias Graham
Photography by Alistair Veryard
Little Death Club
Underbelly Festival Southbank until 23rd June
Previously reviewed at this venue: