July happened to be a crazy month for us – my trip to London, family trip to Moscow, house hunting, applying for schools, etc etc.. So I’m just getting around to continuing my story about that trip to London in the beginning of this month. In case you missed the beginning of it, here’re links to Part 1 and Part 2.
On Saturday evening of the birthday weekend, we were invited to a Proud Cabaret in Camden Town. I used to live near Camden (in Chalk Farm) for a couple of years, when I first moved to London. I haven’t been there since moving to a different flat around 13 years ago. When we drove past Chalk Farm Tube Station to Camden Stables Market – I can’t even properly describe the overwhelming feeling of nostalgia! The area, where I first moved to as a 17 year old, where I saw the goths for the first time, where I rushed to my uni in the mornings and came back late at night from the parties, where I fell in love for the first time and had my first heartbreak – those memories stay with you forever.
Someone might disagree, but to me Camden didn’t change – as busy, as eclectic, as full of all kinds of weird and unusual. I suppose, locals might say that it’s too full of tourists, but then again – all London landmarks are and Camden is definitely one of the main attraction, especially for young people.
Proud Cabaret is a place that suits Camden just fine – it’s not stuck up and posh, instead it’s quirky and lighthearted. First, you’ve got to walk through the uneven cobbles of the Stables Market grounds (I felt like an adrenalin junkie, trotting in my high heels and tight below-the-knee skirt – at that point, wearing little black dress with my tried and tested converse shoes didn’t seem like a crazy idea). Then, you enter the Cabaret with its dark walls, red lighting and tiny round tables placed close to each other (to our comments that it’s a bit cramped, the hostess suggested that we might consider it ‘intimate and cosy’ instead :). Smoke machines worked hard on producing clouds of smoke, floating around the room. I guess, it was their way of re-creating a smoky and mysterious atmosphere without breaking a smoking ban. The hostesses and waitresses rushed around in the 20’s headpieces and lacy underwear, using ‘darlings’ and ‘sweethearts’ when speaking to the guests.
The dinner was followed by a burlesque show. There were a couple of female performers (one of whom looked a lot like Dita von Tease), but a male dancer definitely stood out – his name was Dave the Beard and his performance was so bad that it was actually good :) However, it was the presenter, who completely stole the show – Chastity Belt. The personality, the humour, the confidence, the amazing voice. We loved her and, when she actually started signing ‘Let it go’ from the Frozen, the whole room sang with her, us included. Let me tell you, signing ‘Let it go’ in a cabaret with friends and wine is a totally different experience to singing it at home with kids and toys.
The whole cabaret had only 5 men in the audience, 4 of whom came with us. My friend’s husband, a very tall Dutch guy, was chosen to participate in a burlesque performance and in the end. He got to accompany Chastity Belt during her act – an over-the-top romantic 80s ballade, involving burning some sparklers in the end :)
The night was amazing – effortless fun, good laugh and some perfectly bizarre entertainment, just what you would expect from a night in Camden.