Theatre Preview: Alternative Christmas Cabaret

‘Tis the festive season and The Old Electric, a vibrant hub of creativity and community, has unveiled its Alternative Christmas Cabaret extravaganza.

Elevating the spirit of the season, the community-driven show features an enchanting lineup of local talent, including participants from courses at The Old Electric hosted by accomplished artists. These participants, each a creative force in their own right, have contributed to shaping the unique tapestry of the Alternative Christmas Cabaret.

The cabaret promises an electric mix of performances. From the soulful harmonies of the Electric Pink Voices – an LGBTQ+ choir led by Phil Fairhurt – to the explorations of the singing and music-making group overseen by Elizabeth Wilkinson and Lucy Hunt, the stage will come alive with a variety of musical expressions. Audiences should also expect local wordsmith Rob Del Terror, who will share unique poetry and spoken word, while performers bring an original mini script, Thirty Three, to life, created by Blackpool-born and bred talent, James Lettice.

There will also be some feisty burlesque performance, by local ladies on The Old Electric’s burlesque course hosted by Becky Doran-Brown.

“The weekly course called Burlesque for Body Positivity has been developed from my own experiences as a burlesque performer,” says Becky. “I’ve always wanted to share my knowledge and experiences because for me it’s more about being playful and having fun than trying to be overtly sexy.

“I’ve been so happy to welcome a new group of local ladies to explore movement, props, character development and creativity. Not only have they been envisioning their own solo numbers across a vast spectrum of styles but they are coming together to create a group number for the cabaret.

I really wanted to step outside of my comfort zone, and I found this course was a welcoming and inclusive environment to do just that

“We celebrate our differences and build each other up along this journey that focuses on fun and freedom,” says Becky. “And from this we have built up towards a real life show in front of a live audience, something that the majority of participants have never done before.”

“I’m so pleased I took part in the course. I really wanted to step outside of my comfort zone, and I found this course was a welcoming and inclusive environment to do just that,” says one participant, Tanya. “I’m so proud of what I achieved during my time on the burlesque course, and I’ve made some amazing friends doing it.”

“I have been blown away by the raw talent and expression these ladies have brought to the sessions and I know the audience is going to love the finished piece,” adds Becky.

The burlesque babes will be joined with numbers from Mrs P, compere and talented hostess with the mostess, performed by Mykey Young. There’ll also be a performance from the talented House of Wingz crew, followed by the chance to have a boogie as Her House, a local female DJ collective, spin some tunes.

“Most days at The OE, we welcome a broad range of local residents through our doors to take part in singing, dancing, acting, writing and a huge variety of other creative projects,” says Melanie Whitehead, creative director of the venue. “I know how lucky I am to experience this brilliant array of dedication and skill first hand and so I wanted to give them a platform to share their work with others.

“This event will be a great showcase of some of the amazing creative skills and energy that our local residents have – a night out that’s different from your average Christmas do and one that aims to put Blackpool communities at the heart of the show.

Nights like this are so important – we’re consciously and collectively creating a positive energy that’s greater than the sum of all our individual parts.

“Someone said to me earlier, ‘When there’s war in the world, that infiltrates us, we pick up on the aggression and it permeates us’,” Mel adds. “I think 2023 has been tough for all kinds of reasons – everyone is exhausted, like really on their knees shattered after these last few years. In facing all that we have, we might be inclined to retreat from our friends, family, social and creative connections, but now, more than ever, we should be moving towards them, coming together and finding creative solutions to our shared issues.

“Nights like this are so important for that very reason – we’re consciously and collectively creating a positive energy that’s greater than the sum of all our individual parts, that we know will have huge benefits to our community beyond these few hours together.”

Alternative Christmas Cabaret takes place on Friday 8 December at 7pm. Secure your tickets now for £10 each at theoldelectric.co.uk. Secure your spot early for a night of festive joy and unparalleled community celebration.

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