Ooh la la! Crazy Horse cabaret comes to London with Forever Crazy
Le Crazy Horse is a legendary nightspot in Paris, with tourists and locals alike flocking to the nude cabaret. The club was started in 1951 by Alain Bernardin with the premise of deliberating hiring females dancers who are indistinguishable in height and breast size. Following decades of entertaining people in Paris, the club has come to London in a new production, Forever Crazy.
West End impresario Harvey Goldsmith has wisely spotted a gap in the market for some male and female-friendly adult entertainment by opening a pop-up version of the club on London’s Southbank this autumn. While many women wouldn’t feel comfortable in lap-dancing clubs, Crazy Horse is very female-friendly. The dancers are far from the EE-cup, surgically enhanced women we associate with other seedier establishments. They are sexy, classy with plenty of personality. The 10-strong cast have similar svelte figures with an impressive Christian Louboutin collection – prompting both body and shoe envy amongst myself and my fellow female audience members.
Forever Crazy takes place in a temporary venue just opposite the National Theatre. As you walk in, you are instantly transported to the heady nightlife of Paris with the velvet curtains, neon-lighting and framed photos giving a hint of what’s to come. Going through to the bar, you are greeted by chandeliers, chaise longues and cheeky images setting the mood for the luxury and sexiness on its way. The actual stage area is an intimate space – with tables at the front for those able to pay a bit more, with a semi-circle of seating for everyone else. The venue’s size means everyone has a good view of the action. The show has become one of the hottest spots in town with a celebrity clientele. On the night I visited, I spotted Kelly Brook, Thom Evans, Leigh Francis (aka Keith Lemon), Professor Green and Millie Mackintosh in the audience. Just like a cabaret club, you are able to drink a bottle of wine or bubbly while enjoying the entertainment.
When the lights went down it was super-dark – but this soon makes sense due to the stunning lighting and special effects used during the production. The show is opened with a London twist, with the cast marching on stage dressed as royal horse guards for ‘God Save Our Bareskins’… with slightly less clothing than we would see outside Buckingham Palace of course! The show consisted of different segments of either solo or group performances, combining dance, seduction, singing and a cheeky sense of humour. While some were original pieces from the Paris club, some have been specially conceived for the show.
The two-hour show is strictly for over 18s due to the nudity and saucy jokes – the ‘Up And Over It’ segment depicting a couple arguing after a hedonistic night out is particularly hilarious, but obviously not suitable for young eyes. I particularly enjoyed ‘Chain Gang’, where a dancer dressed as a caged animal showed off her flexibility in a feisty and fast-paced segment and ‘Crisis? What Crisis!’, a fitting tribute to the City in this time of austerity and financial uncertainty. Unsurprisingly, the stock goes up as the dancer strips off!
While the dancers are often nude during the show, it’s thanks to the lighting and trickery you don’t ever see them truly naked. While the cast are stunning and talented, the nature of the production means women in the audience aren’t left feeling awkward, more likely inspired. I personally felt the need to hit the gym after seeing their rock hard abs and toned legs. The spectacle had enough variety and change of pace to keep the audience on their toes during the show. I can thoroughly recommend Crazy Horse as spectacular and entertaining night out for those who want something a little different from the usual West End theatre or dinner with friends.
- Forever Crazy is on at London’s Southbank from now until December 2012. For more information and tickets, visit Forever Crazy’s website. Tickets start from £35.