The excitement of Christmas is far behind us now, and with a good few more months to go until the summer sun comes out to play, there’s not much to distract from the misery of dark days and cold, wet weather. February is here now though, and with it, comes the Spring Season of Cabaret In The House – guaranteed to turn any frown upside down!
Cabaret In The House is the highly popular annual cabaret series which runs twice-yearly at Lauderdale House, bringing audiences up close and personal with some of the best and brightest performers from the West End stage. Stars such as Rebecca Caine, Daniel Koek, Dianne Pilkington, Samuel Buttery, Summer Strallen, Hadley Fraser and Ramin Karimloo have performed in previous seasons, and the 2015 Spring Season is set to be equally successful as the line-up for the February/March cabaret events has just been announced.
Anita Louise Combe, Tim McArthur, Vicki Lee Taylor, Kieran Brown, Sarah Ingram and Siubhan Harrison will all be appearing at Lauderdale House to entertain their audiences with 45 minutes of song and chat, each introduced by Valerie Cutko (Grand Hotel, My Fair Lady, The Phantom of the Opera, Carousel), who returns to host the 2015 season.
Launching the Spring Season of Cabaret In The House is Anita Louise Combe. The Australian actress made her professional début as Sillabub in the Australian première production of Cats in 1985 and went on to perform in productions of Evita and Les Miserables ‘Down Under’ before coming to the UK. She made her West End début in the world première of Sunset Boulevard at the Adelphi Theatre in 1993 and has worked extensively on the London stage since then, firmly establishing herself as a West End leading lady. Some of her most notable theatre credits include originating the role of Stephanie Mangano in Saturday Night Fever (London Palladium) and being one of the few people ever to play both Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly in the West End production of Chicago (Adelphi Theatre). She was most recently seen performing alongside Imelda Staunton, Lara Pulver and Kevin Whately in Chichester Festival Theatre’s critically-acclaimed production of Stephen Sondheim’s Gypsy, directed by Jonathan Kent and choreographed by Stephen Mear. Combe appears at Cabaret In The House on Sunday 15th February 2015. The afternoon will be dedicated to her childhood inspiration, Olivia Newton John, as she performs some of Newton John’s best known songs – along with some of her not so well known songs – and recounts the tale of how they first met. She will be supported by Andrew Rowney, whose credits include A Doll’s House (Oxford Touring Company), Grease (Italian Tour) and various seasons with the European Ballet Company.
Following Combe is the second performer of the series: Tim McArthur. The singer, actor, director and presenter is responsible for the programming of each Cabaret In The House, and this season, joins the line-up to perform his very own show at Lauderdale House as he celebrates 20 years in the entertainment industry. Always a popular cabaret draw, McArthur regularly performs in London as his alter-ego Sister Mary McArthur from St Peter’s of the Sisters of the Third Removed in Soho, but has also appeared in cabaret all over the world, including NYC and Kuala Lumpur. He is also a stage actor and has performed in such theatre productions as Assassins (Pleasance Theatre), Twelfth Night (Catford) and Silence of the Lambs, Bathhouse The Musical (Above The Stag Theatre), in addition to four seasons playing the Dame in panto in Hereford. He can also be heard on Resonance 104.4 FM where he presents The Curtain Up Show every Friday afternoon. McArthur will be performing songs from his début album, Don’t Be Anything Less, as well as a few new offerings, when he appears at Cabaret In The House on Sunday 22nd February 2015. He will be supported by Irish soprano and RAM graduate Alison Arnopp, who will be performing Golden Age greats and 50’s pop hits from Judy Garland, Rosemary Clooney, The Ronettes, Mary Mayo, and her beloved Doris Day.
Cabaret In The House continues in March with Vicki Lee Taylor, who began her professional career at the tender age of 12 playing the lead role in Vivien Ellis’ Listen To The Wind at the King’s Head Theatre, London. She also toured the UK in a production of End Blyton’s The Famous Five as George the Tomboy. Other theatre credits include Mamma Mia (Prince Edward Theatre), Seven Brides For Seven Brothers (UK Tour), Guys And Dolls (UK Tour), The Young Ones (Upstairs at The Gatehouse), The Witches of Eastwick (UK Tour), Betwixt! (Trafalgar Studios) and A Chorus Line (London Palladium). In 2014, she played the leading role of Amber Von Tussle in Hairspray (Leicester Curve) and Carrie Pipperidge in the revival of Carousel (Arcola Theatre), most recently appearing in the critically acclaimed West End production of Urinetown (Apollo Theatre) as a Swing. She will be supported by Hugh O’Donnell at Lauderdale House, who has played Ethel Merman in Treasure Island and a multitude of characters in The Boys Upstairs at Above The Stag. He was also nominated for an Offie Award for Best Supporting Actor playing Jack in Into The Woods. Cabaret In The House with Vicki Lee Taylor takes place on Sunday 1st March 2015.
She will be followed one week later by West End star Kieran Brown, who is currently appearing in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s long-running musical, The Phantom of the Opera. He is a Swing in the show, most recently playing Joseph Bouquet on stage, and also covers the leading male role of The Phantom, which he has played on several occasions now to great acclaim. His other West End credits include Witch’s Father and cover Doctor Dillamond/The Wizard in Wicked (Apollo Victoria), cover Raoul in Love Never Dies (Adelphi Theatre) and Feuilly in Les Miserables (Palace Theatre), while he has also regularly performed and directed in Vienna: credits include A Christmas Carol,The Woman In Black (The International Theatre Vienna) and Over The Threshold, West End Spring, West End Summer (Vienna Theatre Project). Brown will be performing his show Once Upon A Song – A Magical Musical Cabaret at Lauderdale House, where he’ll be joined by some special guests from various West End shows. He’ll also be supported by April Nicholson, who has previously appeared at Lauderdale as a snoring queen and a bonkers witch in the Halloween Spooky Walks. Her theatre credits include The Buccaneer (Finborough Theatre), Anything Goes (West End and UK Tour), Follies (Ye Olde Rose and Crown) and two productions of The Full Monty (Broadway Theatre, Charing Cross Theatre). She’ll be appearing with Kieran Brown at Cabaret In The House on Sunday 22nd March 2015.
Sarah Ingram is the next performer in the March series of Cabaret In The House. The stage actress has a long list of theatre credits to her name, with her West End appearances including Martin Guerre (Prince Edward Theatre), Oklahoma (Royal National Theatre, Lyceum Theatre), Napoleon (Shaftesbury Theatre), Murderous Instincts (Savoy Theatre), Imagine This (New London Theatre), Much Ado About Nothing (Open Air Theatre), Inherit The Wind (Old Vic) and Flashdance (Shaftesbury Theatre). Other notable credits include UK Tours of Hello Dolly, Oklahoma, Scrooge and The Vagina Monologues, as well as Showboat (Royal Albert Hall), Roadshow (Menier Chocolate Factory), The Diary of Anne Frank (York Theatre Royal and Tour), Taboo (Brixton Club House) and Follies (Opera de Toulon). She also appeared as Sarah in the film of Oklahoma. Ingram appears at Cabaret In The House on Sunday 22nd March 2015, supported by recent Mountview graduate Chris Draper who will be sharing songs that inspired him to be a performer.
Rounding off the Spring Season of Cabaret In The House is Lucyelle Cliffe. The actress and singer, who trained at the London School of Musical Theatre, has appeared in such shows as Once Upon A Time At The Adelphi (Union Theatre), The Thing About Men, Hot Mikado (The Landor Theatre), When Midnight Strikes (Upstairs at The Gatehouse), Boeing Boeing (UK Tour), The Sound of Music (Bahrain)and The Comedy of Errors, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo and Juliet (The British Touring Shakespeare Company). She was most recently seen in the West End production of Wicked at the Apollo Victoria, as a member of the ensemble and as 1st Cover Madame Morrible. She will be supported by ArtsEd graduate Samuel J. Weir, whose theatre credits include Spring Awakening (Kingston Rose Theatre), Parade (Southwark Playhouse) and Monkee Business (Manchester Opera House), as well as the role of Student in Tom Hooper’s Les Miserable film adaption. Lucyelle Cliffe appears in Cabaret In The House on Sunday 29th March 2015.
Lauderdale House is an established and popular venue for live performances, and the twice-yearly run of Cabaret In The House is an event that has proven a firm favourite with theatre going fans. It delivers 6-weeks of high quality entertainment direct from the West End in a series of intimate performances, overlooking the picturesque scenery of Highgate’s Waterlow Park, where Lauderdale has stood since it was first built in 1582. Cabarets are a wonderful way to for fans to see their favourite performers on the stage in a very different and more personal way, and it’s an experience that never fails to disappoint. Looking at the line-up for this season of Cabaret In The House, it too will not fail to disappoint.
By Julie Robinson: @missjulie25
Tuesday 3rd February 2015