The Christmas Cabaret was just one of the festive treats on at the West Yorkshire Playhouse. A J James has travelled the world performing as an escapologist, comedian, and daredevil. Now he was performing for a Yorkshire crowd and quickly established a rapport with both folks in the VIP seats as well as on the front row.
Paul Zenon explained what inspired him to take on magic as a child while delivering tricks of illusion with cards and a pipe. And from the moment the Creative Martyrs step onto the stage, their painted faces and style are strikingly similar to that of silent movie stars and double acts like Laurel and Hardy. Gustav and Jacob toss sweets and stride quickly up the aisles to ensure their characters make a connection with the audience.
Award-winning stand-up comedian Brennan Reece won us over with his youthful charm and jokes about not living up to the standards of an alpha-male world. but the climax of the cabaret has to be the Kalki Hula Gir, a delight to watch as she shimmied across the stage twisting with half a dozen hula hoops in costume. Finally Empress Stah impressed us by swallowing fire and concluded the show with impressive aerial acrobatics.
Reviewed by Ahmer Bashir on 12 December at West Yorkshire Playhouse.