The Lost Alhambra, London
With the fate of theatre hanging precariously right now, in a happy medium and potential loophole, cabaret style nights out appear to be one of the few ways live theatre can still go ahead. One venue which is making this happen (and happen in style) is The Lost Alhambra in Leicester Square. The Show Must Go On is an immersive, cabaret dining experience which packs a punch. The night is complete with a three hour show, a two course meal, a welcome cocktail and bottomless Prosecco, you couldn’t really ask for more.
Drag performer Poppycock hosts the night alongside some of musical theatre’s best stars as they take us through a show via the score and some of the text. At this performance we got the treat of Chicago, which fits wonderfully into the dimly lit space of The Lost Alhambra; upcoming performances include Hairspray, Mamma Mia, Rocky Horror and Priscilla Queen of the Desert.
In theory, this is like any other cabaret but it feels so much stagier than anything I’ve experienced before. As you walk in you are greeted by background music from some of the most popular and current shows, the staff all seem to love theatre and the whole thing feels like an immersive show, full to the brim with theatricality.
The venue itself is an Instagrammer’s dream, with pink decor, vintage feeling bathrooms and a Photo Booth to document the night (it’s £4 and you get an email with the photos and gif as well as your print out keepsake). The luxurious space is perfect to let your troubles slide away, and the unlimited Prosecco which starts flowing from the moment of entry doesn’t hurt either. Mention must also go to the staff who are excellent at not only being attentive but also create a wonderful atmosphere from the get go. You really feel part of something special and this only helps to get the room buzzing for the upcoming night of performance.
Poppycock welcomes us with a rousing rendition of ‘Don’t Rain On My Parade’, before heading full throttle into the night, taking on various roles and perfecting the balance between ringleader, comedian and vocal dynamo. Laura Tyrer reprises her West End role as Velma Kelly, with Haley Flaherty as her partner in crime, Roxie Hart and Oliver Tompsett as the quick talking lawyer, Billy Flynn. Poppycock takes on basically every other role from Amos Hart to Mary Sunshine.
Each of the performers show off their impeccable talent and really transport us to the world of Chicago. An audience full of prosecco can definitely be noisy but the cast do an exceptional job of keeping everyone engaged and giving a truly top notch performance. Particularly impressive is the three-person Cell Block Tango and the energetic, high-kick filled I Can’t Do It Alone.
The tickets start at £50 for everything and one hour of Prosecco, with the top price being £65 for 2 hours of Prosecco. It sounds a little pricey but for the amount and quality of the evening it’s well worth it; plus the 10pm curfew means you can have an excellent night out and still be in bed at a reasonable time. I would certainly love a trip back, would weekly be too excessive?
The Chicago theme was excellent and the future performances are sure to be just as good. If you’re looking for a way to get your theatre fix, look no further than The Show Must Go On. Not only is this a spectacularly wonderful night out but it’s also a beacon of hope for the future of theatre. Get yourselves down to Leicester Square and live your best stagey life.