Review: Cabaret in the House with Rosalie Craig, Lauderdale House

“But now it’s just another show, you leave ‘em laughing when they go”

Cabaret in the House is a series of Sunday afternoon cabaret shows held at Lauderdale House, a historic building tucked away in Waterlow Park in Highgate and the room used for the cabaret is actually one where Nell Gwynne stayed 400 years ago, providing a nice link. Each show is introduced by Valerie Cutko, who also gives a number at the beginning of each act accompanied by Stephen Hose. Her fabulously over-dressed appearances were full of great personality and bon mots and she made a most engaging host.

As the highlight of the afternoon, Rosalie Craig gave a highly eclectic programme, mixing in pop songs with musical theatre standards and also taking the opportunity to showcase some of her compositions as a budding singer-songwriter, and excelling at all of them. One of the best things about the cabaret format is that performers can choose the material that they want to, that they have an emotional connection with, and so it didn’t matter that this playlist came from disparate sources, Rosalie pulled it all together with her bubbly personality, her clear rapport with her band (including Hadley Fraser on guitar) and a genuine love of performing. Highlights for me were a lovely rendition of Kander and Ebb’s ‘Sometimes a Day Goes By’, Joni Mitchell’s ‘Both Sides Now’ accompanied by herself on piano and a tender ‘So Many People’ from Sondheim’s Saturday Night.

Support came from Damian Robinson, an upcoming performer fresh from leading a national tour this summer in Robin Hood. Again, a highly personal selection of songs showing off his strong vocal talents with emotional numbers from The Full Monty and Martin Guerre mixed with a great song from Taboo, Pie in the Sky and a mischievous sense of humour with a number poking fun at songs played at funerals and throwing in a cheeky nod to the West End Whingers before an excellent ‘‘Til I Hear You Sing’ from Love Never Dies.

So a recommended treat for a relaxed Sunday afternoon, a chance to see a range of West End performers and tomorrow’s future stars up close and personal, completely live and unamplified: a real showcase for real talent.

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