views from the gods

saints and sinners of the stage and screen

The Ruby Darlings Show
Cabaret Bar (The Vaults)
19th November 2014


Publicity image for The Ruby Darlings Show

Photography provided by Mimetic Festival

Ok, confession time. When I found out The Ruby Darlings Show was running late, I seriously contemplated making a break for it. I may divide my time between the West End and London's quirkiest fringe venues, but sometimes? The prospect of going home early to get some sleep is so tempting. However, bailing on The Ruby Darlings would have been a mistake of epic proportions; their show is easily the best piece of cabaret I've seen all year.

Hosts Ruby (Rachel Le Moeligou) and Darling (Lily Phillips) take us through a variety of lady-themed subjects from songs about their "natural sexy moss" to bedroom activities to which they think you should "just say no". Yes, there's a reason why they have a late-night slot. Nothing is too risqué; you'd be hard-pushed to make either performer feel uncomfortable. Over the course of one glorious hour, they tackle their material with charm, confidence and humour. You can spot the odd punter with a "oh, please, oh please, don't talk to me" expression at the start of the act, but even they quickly loosen up in the girls' company.

Le Moeligou and Phillips look good, they sound great and they're genuinely having a cracking time, which is thoroughly infectious. (Speaking of infections, yeah, they go there too.) The audience buy into their openness and enthusiasm, and this creates a comfortable atmosphere where the filth flows freely and everyone's up for that, even wholeheartedly taking part in a group sing song about anal sex.

Feminism isn't about political rants and burning bras, it's about accepting who you are as a woman, no matter what that is. It's about embracing your personality and refusing to let anyone make you feel ashamed. It's odd, two gorgeous women in sheer, skimpy clothing should make other women want to stick two fingers down their throat and cry, but no, you find yourself wanting to trade boyfriend stories and makeup. Le Moeligou and Phillips are just so likeable - if you don't want to be their best friend, you'll want to shag them - or maybe both.

The Ruby Darlings Show isn't just two girls though, there's also able support from David Tims on keyboard, guitar and vocals. He takes the spotlight a few times, but largely sits in the background, tinkling the ivories and grinning wildly, probably because of the view that he has. What makes the show so deliciously funny is not just that the three performers are prepared to chat about anything, but that they have some exceptional musical talent to back it all up. In a nutshell, we're talking about the filth of East End Cabaret and the technical ability of Frisky and Mannish. You'll catch yourself admiring the harmonies, then with a jolt realising that the words are somewhat less than beautiful.

The material is fresh, even if there are a few parodies such a rap based on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme. They've invested a great deal of time in penning the lyrics and melodies and this truly pays off. The rhyming works - where it doesn't, it's deliberate - and the timing is always bang on. There aren't any awkward lulls whatsoever; it's a slick performance without any mishaps.

Feminism doesn't get sexier than this. It's a shame that The Ruby Darlings only signed up for one night at the Mimetic Festival, but if you get the chance to stand in line to see their show - believe me, this is a show worth waiting for.

The Ruby Darlings Show ran on 19th November 2014 at The Vaults, as part of Mimetic Festival.

Nearest tube station: Waterloo (Bakerloo, Northern, Jubilee)

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