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Review: Invisible Cabaret at The Vaults

Review: Invisible Cabaret at The Vaults

“For so long, “mental health” has been a taboo subject. You know what else has been (and still can be) taboo? Boobs. Taboobs.”

Ladies, you had my heart at “taboobs”.

Last week I had the pleasure and privilege of going to see the truly lovely Invisible Cabaret in action in their show Let’s Get Visible. The brainchild of Rochelle Thomas and Rosalind Peters – that’s Ferrero Rochelle and Rosie Verbose to you and me – the show aims to “strip mental heath issues of their stigma and make the invisible, visible” and is a feast of music, dance, burlesque and comedy.

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Looking at my notes from the show, the list of acts looks like the ramblings of someone deeply confused:

-          Silvia Plath dance

-          Porn star ukulele

-          Pillowcase, well-wishers

-          Shaving cream striptease

-          Bob the Builder balloons

Now, I could explain what each of these acts really entailed – but, actually, I think it’s more fun to leave it open. Let you, my lovely readers, decide what you think each number was like. Or, a better idea still, you could keep an eye out and go witness some of the bizarre-ity for yourself!

I will, however, tell you about a few of my highlights. First off, Rosie Verbose is terrific as compere. Sweet, welcoming and witty, she was a charming host and great with the audience. But candidly, the main reason I liked her is because she had a bunch of oversize pompoms adorning her head. I love a pompom, I do.

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Then there was a comedy lecture on the difference between Borderline Personality Disorder and Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, which made me laugh and think in equal measure – and if you don’t think there’s anything which could possibly be funny about such subject matter… well, frankly you’re wrong.

And speaking of funny – dancer-comedienne Tootsie thrilled the audience with an A+ number about self-care which featured both tap dancing (a vastly underrated art form in your average cabaret show – more of this pls) and an enormous glass of wine, which got the biggest whoop of the night.

The stand-out piece for me, however, was a gut-wrenching spoken word act dealing with the topic of disordered eating, performed beautifully by Miss Mustardseed, who later also brought me near to tears with her depiction of Judy Garland.

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The show was – for the most part – well put together and well thought-out, with a good range of acts, though some could use a little tightening up. Most importantly, this all-woman spectacle tackles some big issues sensitively, and with great heart. On two occasions I got so choked up it was impossible to applaud at the end, though I left feeling buoyed, rather than maudlin. My lovely Plus One said at the end that she wished she could have seen something similar to this when she was a teen and, I believe the company would agree, there is no greater accolade than that.

Empowering, emotional, and fun – Invisible Cabaret have some rough edges to smooth down, but they are on the path to being a truly vital force in the cabaret world.

Learn more about their manifesto here or follow them on Twitter to find out when they’re next coming to a stage near you.

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