For this week’s blog post we had the pleasure of grilling co-founder of The London Cabaret Club, Evelina Girling.
Set within the opulent surroundings of the Bloomsbury Ballroom, a 1920s Art-Deco landmark, steeped in history, The London Cabaret Club, were one of the capital’s first performing arts venues to reopen after the pandemic.
Since launching this show in June, they have enjoyed sell out shows and had a staggering 400 people queuing around the iconic venue last week for their open auditions, proving that London theatre is bouncing back, stronger than ever.
The show combines world-class specialty acts – including dancing dogs, singers and choreographed dancers as well as fine dining – with canapés, tapas and three or four course gourmet meal options – wines and themed cocktails, some served by somersaulting waiters and featuring plenty of martinis… shaken and not stirred.
Read on to find out more about Evelina and what she thinks has made her cabaret such a resounding success!
Hi Evelina, firstly could you tell our readers a little bit about yourself and your career path to-date.
I’m the founder of The London Cabaret Club, a critically-acclaimed, immersive culinary, musical and dance experience, which I co-founded seven years ago with our amazing Artistic Director, Doni Fierro and I’m the Creative Director/Producer of our shows. We’ve hosted everybody from Simon Cowell to Louis Walsh and Millie Mackintosh and had guest performances from celebrities including Amy Winehouse protege Dionne Bromfield, Eliza Doolittle, Alexandra Burke and Westlife star Brian McFadden.I also own London’s stunning 1920s Art Deco landmark, The Bloomsbury Ballroom, which is the venue for our cabaret concept, as well as being an event space. And alongside The Ballroom, The Rose Bar and The Long Bar, we are about to launch The Terrace at The Bloomsbury Ballroom, where guests can enjoy champagne, coffee and food while enjoying the view of the flower-festooned Bloomsbury Square, overlooked by our iconic ballroom. I went to business school in Sydney, Australia before moving to London and New York to work in Management Consultancy and Finance. It was then that I became a Broadway and theatre enthusiast. Away from the sequins and cocktails, I’m a busy mother-of-three and entrepreneur, with a host of charity projects which are close to my heart. And I’m proud to call myself an Australian and Italian Londoner.
What inspired you to create The London Cabaret Club?
I’ve always been passionate about the theatre and arts, which was bolstered by my time living in New York and now London. And I discovered Lio Cabaret in Ibiza and fell in love with it. I met Doni Fierro (my co-founder) during a dance class and we noticed there was a huge gap in the London market for a unique show which provides a high-end culinary, music, dance, DJ and party experience. So we decided to share our passion for theatre, dance, good food and drink by creating this iconic destination experience in the heart of London, and have never looked back.We also provide a launchpad for rising stars through London Cabaret Club, by hiring young performers as waiting staff. Each month, those who have shown exceptional talent are given their very own spot in the show itself, an initiative which is an integral part of our business model.
Your current cabaret, London Never Dies, has been a sell-out hit. What do you think makes it so popular?
The success of London Never Dies is testament to the love this city has for the performing arts.After two years of lockdowns and restrictions, people have come back in huge numbers to witness live performances and to enjoy the spectacle of singers, dancers and acrobats on stage once more.I think our success is down to our attention to detail and the combination of so many, high quality factors, from the iconic Bloomsbury Ballroom location, to its combination of world-class specialty acts – including dancing dogs – singers and choreographed dancers as well as fine dining – with canapés, tapas and three or four course gourmet meal options – wines and themed cocktails, some served by somersaulting waiters and featuring plenty of martinis… shaken and not stirred.There are also dazzling costumes, a unique, immersive experience and after the entertainment, guests can take over from the dancers at the aftershow, when top DJs open up the dance floor until 3am. There really is nothing quite like it.
How do you decide on the themes of your shows and what inspired ‘London Never Dies’?
Our themes are inspired by the rich culture of British history and its iconic music and films, carefully choosing concepts which provide the most thrilling opportunities for music, dance, costume, food and beverage experiences.London Never Dies was adapted from a popular act in our acclaimed Exquisite show and transports guests into the world of the secret service’s most elite super spy. The exciting world of espionage and the world’s most elite super-spy obviously provided us with endless inspiration, music, glamorous destinations, dance routines for a truly show-stopping spectacle.It has also enabled to to create a dazzling, Halloween adaptation of London Never Dies, with a glamorous, Mexican Day of the Dead twist inspired by the Bond film Spectre and featuring specially designed menus celebrating the flavours of El Dia De Los Muertos.
If you had to describe The London Cabaret Club experience in 3 words, what would they be?
Unique Iconic Experience.
Have the current covid restrictions affected the world of cabaret? What has changed about The London Cabaret Club experience in 2021?
The pandemic has definitely given people a greater appreciation of the world of theatre and the arts. And reducing capacity has encouraged a more intimate and unique experience. It has also meant that guests have been more inclined to enjoy the whole experience, arriving earlier and making it their one stop destination.Over the past year, we’ve seen so many performers turning their backs on the industry, because of the uncertainty – we’ve had fantastically talented singers and dancers joining the police force or the ambulance service, because they wanted a regular wage. But we had an incredible turnout for our open auditions for the show a few weeks ago, which was incredibly moving. Hundreds of dancers, singers and performers queued around the block for their chance to appear in London Never Dies. The message is clear – London is open and the capital’s entertainment industry is ready to bounce back stronger than ever, following the fallout from the COVID pandemic.
What kind of audience does The London Cabaret Club attract? (Ie. Londoners or tourists? Old or Young? Cabaret regulars or Cabaret newbies?)
We are proud to welcome a rich diversity of guests, with Londoners and international tourists of all ages. The beauty of our concept is that is has something for everybody – some love dancing until 3am at our aftershow with top DJs, many tourists enjoy the celebration of a quintessentially British experience in one of the capital’s iconic venues and others enjoy the culinary delights and glamorous costumes and choreography.
Are you planning anything special for Halloween?
We absolutely are and are so excited. From October, we will build on the show’s success by introducing Thursday shows, when there will also be a special Halloween adaptation of London Never Dies, with a glamorous, Mexican Day of the Dead twist inspired by the Bond film Spectre and featuring specially designed menus celebrating the flavours of El Dia De Los Muertos. Our Halloween shows are always a sell-out hit and guests really get immersed in the show and arrive in fantastic costumes.
What’s next for The London Cabaret Club and for you? What are your hopes for the future?
We have exciting new shows planned. Our box office has already started selling tickets for our Great Gatsby-inspired show, All About Gatsby, which will run from November throughout the Christmas period. On 19 September, we’ll be part of West End Live in Trafalgar Square, celebrating the best of the capital’s theatre and arts, with our hit Best of British Pop and The Great Gatsby shows.We love welcoming more fans to the London Cabaret Club family with regular pop-ups and tours all over the world, so we’ll be taking the show on the road and we plan to build on the extraordinary success of our concept in London, by growing the brand internationally. We are also about to launch The Terrace at The Bloomsbury Ballroom.
Describe your perfect London day.
A walk or cycle through Hyde Park, followed by a catch up with my children or friends at one of our favourite breakfast spots in Notting Hill. And then I love meeting up with our London Cabaret Club team for a creative inspirational brainstorming session. In the evening, I love to explore new and old favourite restaurants and shows and feel so lucky to live in such a cultural hotspot which I can celebrate with our show in such a stunning landmark.