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C U Next Tuesday Cabaret (Edinburgh Fringe): Review

C U Next Tuesday Cabaret

There ain’t no party like a Dive C U Next Tuesday Cabaret party! Completely off the hinges, this is where groundbreaking cabaret really is at.


The Dive queer collective bring back their C U Next Tuesday Cabaret variety show top the Edinburgh Fringe. Hold onto your pearls, it’s one hell of a soiree!

Concept

Dive is an all year round queer performance collective who last year launched a weekly variety performance at the Edinburgh Fringe to showcase the best in LGBTQ artists from Scotland and around the world, bringing talent to the festival as well as including some of the queerest acts already performing. This year, there’s a theme “Heroes”. This gives both the organisers and the acts to tribute some of the queer communities biggest idolic figures from Bowie to Bowrey. But C U Next Tuesday Cabaret is also about bringing as wide a variety of acts as possible, from performance art, to burlesque, to comedy, and the undefinable.

What’s truly incredible is just how established the C U Next Tuesday Cabaret has become in a year, meaning it’s got a much sought after appeal enabling it to include some top acts like, on the night I was attending, queer performance artist Christeene, comedian David Mills, and comedy magic act The Duo Bogof. But as well as the big guns, the lesser established acts are just as top-notch, including scintillating burlesque acts and even a fierce demonstratory lesson in Voguing. There’s even a “soap box” moment where Dive invites a comedian to have a political rant about a topic of their choice. Then the contributions from the Dive collective, preside over the indomitable Miss Annabel Sings, are just as loud, lush, and bombastic as the talent they pull in, creating an earthquake of fabulousness like Edinburgh has never seen the likes of. But what this means is that, even though the acts change from week to week, the quality is never going to shift so dramatically that any C U Next Tuesday Cabaret is going to feel worse than any other. It’s a divine curation of queerness like nowhere else on the fringe, and quite possibly, nowhere else in the UK.

Overall, you end up with a show that is bursting with wide variety, fit to explode with astonishing talent, and acts that are genuinely groundbreaking and jaw-dropping. But most of all, despite just how outlandish some of the acts are (for example Christeene is certainly not for the faint of heart or the prudish on mind) it is one of the warmest and most welcoming shows on the fringe. The C U Next Tuesday Cabaret reeks of inclusivity and friendliness. Even if its from a cheery “how’d ya do” from a beautiful bearded lady in a can-can dress waving a glorious fan, or  a”welcome!” from a drag queen who is as fabulous as they are short, you feel welcome, involved, and loved. It’s an intoxicating community that outdoes any church, and it feels ecstatic to be part of, let alone being in a position to witness some truly superlative performances that you’d be hard press to find anywhere else.

Verdict

Be there, be queer, or be square! C U Next Tuesday Cabaret is the queer party to end all queer parties. Hedonistic fervour with apocalyptic energy, “wild” doesn’t even begin to cover it.

C U Next Tuesday Cabaret takes place every Tuesday throughout the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, at Summerhall (venue 26), Edinburgh, EH9 1PL. Tickets are £10 (concessions available). To book, visit tickets.edfringe.com.