The luxurious hedonism of the 1920s jazz age, fronted by the fictional maverick Jay Gatsby, is being brought you by The London Cabaret Club. Following on from their hugely successful Bond-inspired entertainment and dining experience, London Never Dies, The London Cabaret Club brings brings us another experience by an extraordinary character who embodies sophistication: Jay Gatsby.
Excitingly, The London Cabaret Club has begun plans for global expansion next month, launching its immersive culinary, musical and theatrical experience at Dubai’s Soho Garden at the glamorous Palm Jumeirah on 2nd February. They will be opening with their hit, Bond-inspired show, London Never Dies.
The award-winning cabaret concept was launched by The London Cabaret Club seven years ago and made its permanent home in London at the Bloomsbury Ballroom.
We enter through the entrance of The Terrace at Bloomsbury Ballroom – an outdoor space that has been ‘inspired by Parisian brasserie culture’. This fully immersive experience begins right here at the door, as we are welcomed in from the cold towards the hearth of luxury. The sound of modern swing music welcomes guests, as they make their way to the ticket desk within this this warmly lit, baroque reception. Bloomsbury Ballroom boasts that it is ‘London’s Opulent Art Deco Venue’, which is made plainly evident with hanging chairs in corners tastefully lit by vintage lamps, dark wood covering walls and marble glistening on stairs. Upon handing our coats in to the friendly staff, we are offered a glass of Prosecco as we make our way towards the main ballroom.
There is excited chatter amongst the guests sat at their tables, as a band of violinists and a singer with a voice somewhere in-between Judy Garland and Edith Piaf sings contemporary songs in a vintage 1920s style.
The attention to detail in presentation of tables is excellent with a tea light candle that provides the warm intimacy of a jazz club; a bottle of white wine set in ice; cutlery and glasses set neatly and precisely on white table linen.
We are given a list of fittingly named ‘Gatsby Signature Cocktails’ : Daisy Fizz; Giggle Juice; Fizzy Flapper; Doll Face; Hotsy Totsy. These wonderfully whimsical innuendos are an ingenious tip of the cap at the era of prohibition and bootlegging.
Paul McDowell deserves a special mention for his outstanding performance, as the lead male singer of the evening and as Gatsby. His silky-smooth vocals paired with his sophisticated charisma make him the perfect host of the evening, much like Gatsby himself.
The rest of the nights performances are breathtaking displays of great feats achieved by the human body. One of my favourite performances of the evening is a sensational endorsement of Moët & Chandon that encapsulates the spirit of the roaring twenties. A giant martini glass was placed at the centre of the stage and male performer, Max, whistles to beckon the girls over. Dancers wearing golden vintage bikinis and swimming caps, carrying glittering nautical life rings embossed with ‘Moët” and bottles of champagne swing their hips as they make their way towards the giant martini glass. Max takes a seat amongst the audience and watches them pour champagne from several bottles into the glass. As soon as the female dancers saunter off, Max elegantly climbs into the glass, flicking champagne into the air. A talented acrobat, Max uses a rope to twirl above the glass in this deeply seductive performance. To the raucous sound of applause from the audience, he then takes his vest and dips it into the glass, wringing it over himself before throwing the vest towards the audience.
As Gold ticket holders (from £90 each), we are treated to a 3-course meal and a bottle of wine. The starter of cod croquet, fennel pureé and beetroot is elegantly plated. The cod flakes off with a gentle push of your fork, and is cooked to perfection. Though the fennel pureé was disappointingly bland, it is reprieved by the tart taste of beetroot. For the main, we are presented with roasted cornfed chicken, sweet potato pave, hispi cabbage with a thyme and red wine jus. There are no complaints for this dish that gives you sense of cultivation and luxury befitting this evening. The desert is a blood orange and passionfruit mousse presented in a martini glass, that transports you to an exotic paradise.
As the evening ends, we are shocked at how quickly this enjoyable evening has gone by but The London Cabaret have made sure that when we are left wanting more, more is exactly what they will serve. A DJ sets up on stage and initiates the after-party.
Have a read of London Theatre Scene’s 4-star review of A Gatsby Christmas.
Find out more and book your tickets here.