Cabaret Paradiso at the Warren - a charming and fun show

Cabaret Paradiso at the Warren (until August 22) is a hugely enjoyable, charming little show which mixes dazzling contemporary circus with a bit of fun and some nice tunes.

Monday, 16th August 2021, 10:55 pm
Cabaret Paradiso. Photo by Paul Jenkins

Cabaret Paradiso at the Warren (until August 22) is a hugely enjoyable, charming little show which mixes dazzling contemporary circus with a bit of fun and some nice tunes.

Necessity is the mother of invention and when the planned Circus Abyssinia show was unable to take place on these stoney shores, a new show was swiftly set up.

Cabaret Paradiso is a collaboration between Bibi and Bichu (founding members and stars of Circus Abyssinia who fortunately now live in the UK) and the wonderful Norwich-based Lost in Translation Circus .

Cabaret Paradiso. Photo by Paul Jenkins

The production as Covid-friendly as they come, staged at the Oil Shed stage at the recently relocated Warren.

For the rest of August the venue, which is a Brighton Fringe festival favourite, is based on the beach, to the east of Brighton Palace Pier, snuggled up next to the crazy golf and directly below the Brighton Zipline, which along with the chip-fattened ‘gulls provides a constant incidental soundtrack throughout proceedings.

The summer of ‘21 (such as it is) will be remembered for its open-air shows, and The Oil Shed is a marvellous and inventive custom-built structure which although covered, has oil keg walls which ensure great ventilation and on Thurday’s opening night (August 12) allowed a gentle early evening breeze to make its presence felt.

The stage was set for the Hotel Paradiso, which Serge the Concierge described as the greatest hotel on the riviera of East Sussex, but one which had fallen on hard times and was ‘frayed at the edges’.

Cabaret Paradiso. Photo by Paul Jenkins

Staff at the hotel were a rum bunch and prone to acts of amazing acrobatics....

Traditional circus fans will be wowed by the brilliant graceful gymnastics on The Cage and the Silks, as performers made their incredible moves seem almost effortless.

There was also a bit of whipcracking fun, with successive targets feeling the lash of the bellboy’s whip, played out with goofy charm and a flatulence gag thrown in for good measure.

The contribution of ‘hotel guests’ Bibi and Bichu was a wonder.

Cabaret Paradiso. Photo by Paul Jenkins SUS-210816-224612001

Displaying dizzying and hitherto unimaginable levels of dexterity, the Ethiopian brothers exchange an absurd number of juggling pins, and in complete synchronicity.

Amid the fabulous moves and circus skills the show was marvellously held together by the aforementioned Serge.

As likeably louche a circus ringleader as you ever could hope for, with a good level of patter (describing the Oil Shed as ‘post-modern ediface, deliciously open to the elements’, and a great voice which did justice to a casual Sinatra croon and a show-stopping slice of Nina Simone, ending an effervescent bit of summertime fun.

Cabaret Paradiso. Photo by Paul Jenkins SUS-210816-224518001