Nestling under the Phoenix Theatre in London’s Charing Cross Road, is the well-kept secret that is the cabaret/bar/restaurant that is the Phoenix Arts Club.
Owned by Ken Wright and his partner Colin Savage, whom I’m pleased to call friends, it’s a venue that during lockdown has managed to find a new lease of life with virtual cabarets each Saturday night.
Hosted by Colin and the irrepressibly mad Stuart Saint , it brings a bit of fun and music to all of us in isolation. If you go to YouTube of Facebook and type in Phoenixartsclub you’ll find a fund of entertainment.Its latest offering, now online features singer Matt Bateman, lipsync star Rhys’s Pieces , cabaret compère Dusty Limits, boylesque performer Danny Ash and drag king Adam All and his partner Apple Derrière.
Matt, a former manage at the Phoenix has since starred in Phantom of the Opera in the West End and a German tour of Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd. In this episode he gives us a hilarious 5-minute resume of the storyline of Phantom, centring on his character the operatic tenor Piangi, complete with staggering top notes.
As a breather Colin plays Michel Barnier in a very funny Brexit-19 piss-take. If you like miming, Rhys’ s Pieces is brilliant in Been Around The World .
Dusty Limits, titled by Colin “ The compère without compare “ sings his own “ In Confidence” a song full of innuendo about a not-so-out man, very much in the style of Noel Coward and very very funny.
To hit a serious note there’s a section on Black Lives Matter, which is compulsive viewing, and bringing up the rear – in more ways than one – is aerialist Danny Ashe who does wonders on a rope in a thong. Be sitting down when you watch !
The performers will take donations and there’s a Paypal link on the streaming.
Here’s hoping we can all wander down the Phoenix’s winding staircase soon to see entertainment in the flesh.