Talking dirty with EastEnd Cabaret

EastEnd Cabaret is a saucy mix of excellent live music, x-rated lyrics, strong vocals, and hilarious comedy – all  wrapped up into a glossy package of 1930’s Berlin-style cabaret. Sex, songs, sass and LOLs…what’s not to love?!”

EastEnd Cabaret

Bernie and Victy, opening The Underbelly launch at the 2012 Edinburgh Fringe

I was first introduced to EastEnd Cabaret at an Edinburgh Fringe Reception event in Adelaide, Australia, in 2010.

As a civilan hanger-on among the festival professionals, I was standing in the Garden of Unearthly Delights – the epicenter of the Adelaide Fringe – sipping white wine out of a plastic cup and feeling mildly out of place, when Jen (‘Bernadette Byrne’), Victoria (‘Victor Victoria’) and Tom (producer, writer and marketer) arrived.

At the time, I had no idea what EastEnd Cabaret was – I just remember being relieved to have found a trio of friendly and funny fellow Adelaide Fringe novices to chat to. Of course, Jen and Victoria weren’t in character at the time, or I might have creamed my pants.

Nowadays, the ‘Queens of Smut’ (as Time Out London called them) make me totally moist, but at our first encounter I was still finding my feet in the world of cabaret, and I’m not sure how well my constitution would have coped with the brash, multi-sexual filth factory that is Bernie and Victy.

Fastforward two years and a few months to last August, and I finally got the chance to cream my pants in a good way, when I went to see EastEnd Cabaret do their thing at the Edinburgh Fringe. Their thing, by the way, is very dirty, very funny, and very good.

For those of you who don’t know, EastEnd Cabaret is a saucy mix of excellent live music, x-rated lyrics, strong vocals, and hilarious comedy – all  wrapped up into a glossy package of 1930’s Berlin-style cabaret. Sex, songs, sass and LOLs…what’s not to love?!

The act has had a busy few years since we first met, picking up a host of prestigious accolades and awards along the way. These include the coveted ‘Best Cabaret award’ at the 2012 Adelaide Fringe Festival, for their show ‘Notoriously Kinky’; a nomination for the Edinburgh Fringe TOAST ‘Best Cabaret’ award, later the same year; and a nomination for the Perth Festival’s ‘Best Cabaret Award’.

EastEnd Cabaret is currently staging their brand new show, Dirty Talk, at the Edinburgh Fringe – and we’re lucky enough to have them performing at this year’s Big Comedy Gala as well. I got myself a delicious sneak peak (or should that be dick tease?) at the Underbelly launch a couple of days ago, and personally, I can’t wait for my full hour fix next week!

I highly recommend you cabaret fans out there get yourselves tickets to their show (link at the bottom of this page), as the five minute glimpse you’ll be treated to at the Big C is guaranteed to leave you wanting more.

In the meantime, below is Bernie and Victy’s answers to our regular Big Comedy Gala blog Q&A – enjoy!

What is your involvement in The Big C?

VV: We’re going to be playing a few songs from our new show, ‘Dirty Talk’.

Who is your favourite comedy hero, act or actor?

BB: My favourite comedy act is a drunk man that is always in a park in East London. He shouts ridiculous things at passers by, dances with pigeons and even got naked in front of some nuns once. I could watch him for hours.

Favourite comedy moment (your own or someone else’s)?

VV: We once watched a guy shoot a confetti cannon directly into his crotch. Onstage. By accident. It shouldn’t have been so funny, but it really, really was.

What in your everyday life always makes you laugh?

BB: Watching Victy styling her moustache in the mirror every morning always makes me laugh. She does a hilarious tongue poking out face of concentration.

Who is your secret celebrity crush?

VV: I’m a big fan of Tom Selleck – but it may just be moustache envy…

In five words, why should people come to (or support) The Big Comedy Gala?

BB: Good comedy and good karma!

Joining EastEnd Cabaret on the night are The Boy with Tape on his Face, Sean Hughes, Greg Proops, Caroline Rhea, Vikki Stone, Joe Lycett & Patrick Monahan, among others.

Follow @bigcomedygala on Twitter – #BigC2013

Book tickets for the Big Comedy Gala

Book tickets for EastEnd Cabaret’s Dirty Talk

Text and photo by Josef Church-Woods – web: www.josefchurchwoods.com, Twitter: @josefcw

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Final Big C line-up announced – see you Monday!

ROY WALKER
GEORGE WENDT
JOSIE LONG
SUSAN CALMAN
NICK HELM
FRISKY & MANNISH
TOM STADE
FASCINATING AIDA
DAN NIGHTINGALE
STEVE SHANYASKI
JOE LYCETT
THE BOY WITH TAPE ON HIS FACE

We’re thrilled to announce the final line-up for the Big Comedy Gala, in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support, with George Wendt kicking off the show this coming Monday evening by introducing our fabulous host, Roy Walker.

Wendt, who played Norm in Cheers and who is also known for appearances in The Simpsons and Family Guy, is in Edinburgh for Re-Animator The Musical at Assembly George Square this August.

Roy Walker and George Wendt head up an all star line-up at Venue150@EICC on Monday 13 August, including 2011 Fosters’ Comedy Award Nominee Nick Helm; BBC Radio 4 regular Susan Calman; Tom Stade; Cheap Flights YouTube sensation Fascinating Aida; Josie Long; Fringe favourite The Boy With Tape On His Face; and comedy newcomer Joe Lycett.

Those of you who joined us last August at for the inaugural Big Comedy Gala  – also at Venue150@EICC – will be pleased to hear that we raised £18,433, all of which went directly to Macmillan Cancer Support. This year our goal is to raise £20,000.

You can book tickets now by calling 0131 226 0000 or 0844 847 1639 or buy online: www.venue150.com or www.edfringe.com / www.bigcomedygala.com. Tickets: £22 (subject to booking fee).

You can also find the Big C on Twitter (@bigcomedygala), and Facebook (facebook.com/bigcomedygala or search for big comedy gala).

Please share this message with your friends, family and on social media!

The Big Comedy Gala in Aid of Macmillan Cancer Support, Monday 13 August 2012, at 21:30 (2hrs). Box Office: 0844 847 1639 or 0131 226 0000.

Josie Long joins the Big C line-up

Josie Long joins the Big C line-up

We’re excited to the point of leakage to announce today that the writer of teen TV sensation Skins, Josie Long, will be joining the line-up at the 2012 Big Comedy Gala!

Long has been a Fringe favourite since winning the Comedy Award for Best Newcomer in 2006 and has since enjoyed a fruitful relationship with the Beeb, appearing on BBC2 show The Bubble, hosting BBC6’s Saturday Morning show with Andrew Collins, and giving a memorable guest appearance on Never Mind the Buzzcocks.

At the age of 17, she won the BBC New Comedy Award and is known to many from her appearances on Channel Four’s 8 out of 10 Cats. As well as writing for Skins, Josie appeared in Series 1 and 2 as the careers advisor.

She will join a star-studded line-up at the Macmillan fundraiser, including: Roy Walker (host), George Wendt (intro), Susan Calman, Nick Helm, Nina Conti, Tom Stade, Fascinating Aida, Joe Lycett, Dan Nightingale, Steve Shanyaski and The Boy with Tape on his Face.

For more information, interview requests or images, please contact Miriam Attwood on 07825 642225 or email press@bigcomedygala.com.

You can also find the Big C on Twitter (@bigcomedygala), and Facebook (facebook.com/bigcomedygala or search for big comedy gala).

The Big Comedy Gala in Aid of Macmillan Cancer Support, Monday 13 August 2012, at 21:30 (2hrs). Box Office: 0844 847 1639 or 0131 226 0000. Buy online: www.venue150.com or www.edfringe.com / www.bigcomedygala.com. Tickets: £22 (subject to booking fee of £2 to £2.40 per ticket + postage).

Q & A with Susan Calman

Susan Calman

Susan Calman

Following on from our announcement last week that Susan Calman has joined our Big Comedy Gala line-up, here’s a wee cheeky Q & A with Susan for your pleasure!

What is your involvement in the Big Comedy Gala?

I’m performing at the Big Gala Comedy.

Who is your favourite comedy hero, act or actor?

Difficult to name one but I think Joyce Grenfell would be my pick.

Favourite comedy moment (your own or someone else’s)?

When I saw French and Saunders live in Edinburgh in the early 90’s: I’ve never forgotten how wonderful they were.

What in your everyday life always makes you laugh?

Almost everything. I try to laugh almost all the time.

Who is your secret celebrity crush?

Can’t say. I’m just married; I’d like it to last a year.

In five words, why should people come to (or support) The Big Comedy Gala?

Funny night for wonderful cause.

You heard what the lady said, guys; a funny night for a wonderful cause! So with less than two weeks to go, get your tickets now if you haven’t already bought them!

The Big Comedy Gala in Aid of Macmillan Cancer Support, Monday 13 August 2012, at 21:30 (2hrs). Box Office: 0844 847 1639 or 0131 226 0000. Buy online: www.venue150.com or www.edfringe.com / www.bigcomedygala.com. Tickets: £22 (subject to booking fee of £2 to £2.40 per ticket + postage).

You can also find the Big C on Twitter (@bigcomedygala), and Facebook (facebook.com/bigcomedygala or search for big comedy gala).

BBC Radio 4 regular Susan Calman joins Big Comedy Gala celebrity line-up!

Susan Calman joins the Big C

Susan Calman, the star of Rab C Nesbitt, BBC Three’s Dead Boss, Have I Got News For You, and Channel 4’s Ugly Kid, as well as being a regular on Radio 4 (The News Quiz, The Unbelievable Truth, Vote Now) and Radio Scotland (Funny Friends), today announces she’s joining the all-star line-up at the 2012 Big Comedy Gala in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.

From Glasgow, Calman gave up a lucrative career in corporate law to become a comedian and has proved herself one of the fastest rising stars in comedy. She reached the semi-finals of the BBC New Comedy Awards and So You Think You’re Funny in 2005, she was also a finalist in Funny Women in 2006.

The feisty Glaswegian went on to become resident compere at Glasgow’s famous comedy club, The Stand, and has been awarded Best New Comedian at the Scottish Variety Awards as well as a Scottish BAFTA.

Calman will join a star-studded line-up at the Macmillan fundraiser, including: Roy Walker (host), George Wendt, Nick Helm, Nina Conti, Tom Stade, Fascinating Aida, Joe Lycett, Dan Nightingale, Steve Shanyaski and The Boy with Tape on his Face.

For more information, interview requests or images, please contact Miriam Attwood on 07825 642225 or email press@bigcomedygala.com.

You can also find the Big C on Twitter (@bigcomedygala), and Facebook (facebook.com/bigcomedygala or search for big comedy gala).

The Big Comedy Gala in Aid of Macmillan Cancer Support, Monday 13 August 2012, at 21:30 (2hrs). Box Office: 0844 847 1639 or 0131 226 0000. Buy online: www.venue150.com or www.edfringe.com / www.bigcomedygala.com. Tickets: £22 (subject to booking fee of £2 to £2.40 per ticket + postage).

The Big Comedy Gala in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support is in its second year. The sell-out 2011 event raised £18,433.08 for Macmillan Cancer Support and featured Ed Byrne, Rich Fulcher, Fred MacAulay, Sarah Millican, Danny Bhoy, Frisky & Mannish and Roy Walker.

A chat with… Barry Church-Woods

Laugh out loud funny – Barry (centre) looking uncharacteristically smart. Image courtesy of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society / James Glossop

Full name: Barry Church-Woods

Age: 36

Occupation: Festival and Events Manager

We’ve kind of already covered this, but tell us in your own words; what is your involvement in The Big C?

I set up the Big C with Mhari Hetherington after my big sister Julie died from cancer. I’m mainly responsible for begging the acts to perform on the show, though to be honest, there’s never that much begging involved. We have about a 95% success rate with acts we want if they are in town as it’s such a universal cause. On the rare occasion we’re turned down, it’s because they already have commitments. I’m also the voice behind most of the rude social media out-with August.

Who is your favourite comedy hero, act or actor?

I have a million.

I’m really attracted to gobby women. Comedy fag hags like Kathy Griffin, Margaret Cho and Chelsea Handler make me laugh out loud on a daily basis. I also think Megan Mullally as Karen Walker is one of the best sitcom characters ever written.

 

I’ve always been a fan of sitcoms. I remember sitting in my bedroom as a 14-year-old watching Cheers on an old black and white TV, with a dial to tune the stations. I’m pretty sure I’m going to make a tit out of myself when I meet George Wendt, as Norm was always one of my favourite characters.

Favourite comedy moment (your own or someone else’s)?

I love gallows humour. When things are so bad that the only thing left to do is laugh. That’s kind of where the Big C was borne from. Mhari and I used to sit around drinking whisky and crying about our dead relatives until we had to take a step back and take the piss out of each other.

There’s something really powerful about making people laugh in times of sadness. I’ll never forget the first episode of Saturday Night Live after the twin towers fell. Reese Witherspoon was presenting and instead of the “Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night!” introduction there was a cold opening with Reese and the cast, firefighters, the police and Rudy Giuliani who was mayor at the time. It was a really beautiful image and it made me tear up a little (because I’m not dead inside). Giuliani then said that despite the terrorist attacks, the show would go on as normal to which Lorne Michaels asked “Can we be funny?” and the mayor responded “Why start now?”

What in your everyday life always makes you laugh?

I married the funniest man I’ve ever met. Every day I giggle like a teenage girl because of something he says or does. Corny I know but it’s the truth.

Who is your secret celebrity crush?

Jesus. And Wendy Liebman.

In five words, why should people come to (or support) The Big Comedy Gala?

Cancer affects all of us.

Let’s get Frisky…and Mannish

If you were smart enough to join us at last year’s Big Comedy Gala, you will have witnessed firsthand the comedy-musical genius that is one of our favourite Fringe acts of recent years – the very funny and talented Frisky and Mannish!

Their unique take on pop may not amount to straightforward stand up, but their comic timing, musical skills and vocal prowess packs a powerful punch if you like your laughs with a side of live music.

Of course, these days – with three massively successful Fringe shows under their sequined belts – they are rather well known, appearing regularly on TV, radio and the Heat Magazine website…yes, they do get around!

But if you’ve not had the good fortune of seeing them live yet, we suggest you seek them out at this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe – check their website for gig dates.

In the meantime, here’s a video clip of them, appearing live on Scott Mills’ show on Radio One, performing a couple of our favourite Frisky and Mannish numbers…their nursery rhyme take on Girls Aloud hit Sound of the Underground, as well as a saucy, slow dance version of Whigfield’s Saturday Night. Awesomeness!

 

The Big Comedy Gala is in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. It takes place on Monday 13 August 2012 at 21:30 (2hrs), and tickets are £22 (subject to booking fee of £2 to £2.40 per ticket + postage).

You can book tickets now by calling 0844 847 1639 or buying online at venue150.com.