Boom Boom Club, “London’s trail-blazing, hell-raising cabaret troupe” (Time Out) began life in a crumbling back room deep in the heart of Camden Town in 2006, before being chased out of town by the pitch-fork wielding puritans who seemed determined to ban burlesque from our city’s streets.
After briefly scandalising the Bloomsbury set, home became the oldest surviving Turkish Baths in a Bishopsgate churchyard, for countless nights of ‘gin-soaked cabaret and riotous rhythms’. Firstly on Sundays as an event hosted by Dusty Limits and produced by and for performers on their night off, then expanding to Thursdays and Fridays. The tiny Boom Boom stage with its Belle Epoque-inspired backdrop was graced by the great and the good of the scene. Dining tables and booths became solidly booked months in advance and the after-party dancefloor was always packed with off-duty performers, immaculately-attired vintage freaks and Rock n Rollers.
2011 saw the launch of weekly sister night La Reve, and Boom Boom Club’s takeover of the cavernous vaults of The Old Vic Tunnels. As a co-production with Time Out Live and The Old Vic, these highly experienced collaborators helped the company grow towards a more structured and theatrical approach to show-making. Kevin Spacey said some nice things, 3 sell-out seasons of spectacular alternative nightlife followed. Boom Boom at the Tunnels saw an immerisve and unruly mix of promenade, installation and traditional seated performance. Multiple cabaret spaces themed as a Voodoo carnival or a psychiatrist’s office or a Vegas gameshow chapel all featured, as did circus skills stages in the middle of the dancefloor with Nick Hollywood spinning the Electro-Swing and live video, plus automata-based fortune-telling arcades, aerial stages and all manner of walkabout performance. The year ended on a December run which was over-subscribed by a factor of 2:1. Loud applause echoed all around.
In between, the Boom Boom gang also found time to produce events for a certain well-known purveyor of London gin, curate cabaret stages at Bestival 2011 and Field Day 2010 / 11, and La Reve went from strength to strength at the Cafe de Paris, becoming arguably the most popular weekly cabaret night in London.
2012 will see Boom Boom Club presenting their most thrillingly theatrical experience yet at Underbelly’s London Wonderground at The South Bank Centre, followed by an after-hours, 7 nights a week venue at the Edinburgh Fringe. There are also 2 Boom Boom events coming up The Royal Albert Hall’s Elgar Room, and appearances at Bestival 2012, Secret Garden Party 2012, Wilderness 2012 and Lounge on The Farm 2012.
Stay tuned for more information on the party which never, ever ends.