Forever Crazy – Taking the art of cabaret to a whole new level
Due to a hectic work schedule, keeping you lot entertained on this here website and an inbox that wasn’t so much overflowing as it was over-tsunami-ing, I hadn’t managed to look into what to expect from Forever Crazy, the Parisian cabaret troop who’ve toured the world and winged their way to London, settling themselves at Upper Ground smack bang in the middle of the South Bank.
But that was ok, I like surprises.
Having received the most terrific culture shock to the face upon seeing the venue (it was breathtakingly amazing – swathes of velvet made up a swirling ceiling, disco balls glittered from high above, neon signs alluded to the naughtiest of entertainment and there was mood lighting oozing enough sex appeal to make the menopause do a complete U-turn), we were shown to a decadent front table as the show kicked off with a line of really beautiful, really naked soldiers. The opening number – which was a routine stepped to the changing of the guards in perfect unison – set the scene for the level of risqué this show was going to be. The Forever Crazy girls, who wore only a large white tassel and no merkin to cover their front area, were cranking it up to 11 and making sure the audience had seduction ringing in their ears for days to come.
The whole show was an upmarket journey through a wild, wicked and wonderful imagination with a sexual charge simmering below the surface. From caged routines depicting the animal instincts of sex through to deliciously musical-esque pole dance numbers, Forever Crazy hit every note on the erotica scale. I’d describe it as a fusion of Moulin Rouge, the Karma Sutra and the film Burlesque (from which they have adapted the popular number “But I Am A Good Girl”).
The favourite of the show, without a doubt and above all else, was actually one depicting no sex and the only male of the whole show (unless one of those girls was very cleverly disguised…VERY cleverly). The scene is set at a restaurant table between a rowing couple. After exchanging dirty looks and catty gestures, they each snort a line of cocaine from the table (as you do). Having fought over who’s able to ingest the most, the two continue to brawl, slamming around their wine bottles as well as their hands against the table in the process, and the slamming begins to beat to a tune. This builds until we have a full-scale drum off between the feuding couple, shrouded in a cloud of “cocaine” that’s been upheaved from the table. It ends with them joining forces to conduct a table-drum solo in perfect unison, performing tricks such as juggling wine bottles between them and adding high fives throughout the sequence, until a huge finale where they incorporate a tap dance routine into the drums. I dread to think how long it took the artists to perfect their dead-on timing, but this scene was absolutely fantastically executed, and we wanted to watch it all over again.
Forever Crazy is not for the faint hearted (there was definitely a woman and her husband sat next to us caught unawares by the nakedness. She was NOT impressed), but I for one am in love with the whole thing. I’ve even downloaded the soundtrack, which is available on iTunes.
If you’re after a swanky night out on the South Bank, book this up and save a tenner for a cocktail. Even if it’s just to behold the cocaine/drum/tap scene.