The cream rises to the top, they say, and this was certainly true of this show: the best acts were in the first quarter. I was hoping for an evening of entertainment from a line-up of Brighton's finest female cabaret acts – but if the truth be told, I was a little disappointed.
Our host, Lynn Ruth Miller (who takes great delight in repeatedly telling the audience that she is 80 years young) was welcoming, witty and wily. She gently warmed up the room with universal questions that pretty much anyone could answer. So far, so good.
Then came “Foxy and Husk”, an act consisting of a woman dressed as Basil Brush’s sexier counterpart, and her companion – a miniature nodding plastic husky dog. On first appearances I doubted where this was going, but true magic soon took place. Foxy takes lip-synching to another level all together. Working with an interview about falling in love, seemingly recorded by a much older woman, Foxy transformed it into an act of pure genius.
Every syllable, word and cough was accounted for, and the physicality that accompanied it was stunningly believable. Sound effects miraculously transformed the simplest things into a humorous moment. It was unique, clever and mesmerising, and the duet that followed when Foxy and Husk sang together was a true show-stopper.
The next act was Cameryn Moore, aka The Phone Whore, but this act felt more like an anecdotal broadcast on behalf of the phone sex industry and sadly, wasn't that funny at all.
Next came “Disco Derek”, and host Miller did a great job preparing the audience for something very different. It was indeed very different. Suffice to say that “Disco Derek” brings new meaning to the use of a laptop, and her lip-synching to Donna Summer's I Feel Love did not involve the lips found on her face. The whole thing may well have been audacious, but it also felt extremely indulgent and in truth, a tad boring. I Feel Love is a very long track indeed.
I almost heaved a sigh of relief when Foxy re-appeared, this time without Husk. Sadly the words “quit while you’re ahead” came to mind; her second act involved more lip-synching, but this time with someone speaking about pole dancing. The result felt much less friendlier, far more menacing and far less enjoyable.
Miller tied things up neatly with her own material, but I was left wondering why so much of women's comedy is based around the theme of sex. It's all been said and done to death and, knowing that Brighton is full of creative and talented women, I expected more. One thing I did very much appreciate though, was that none of the performers ridiculed, picked on or harassed the outnumbered men in the audience.
It did seem that most of the audience enjoyed the show, and it was in fact the major talking point of the weekend for me – if not quite for the right reasons. It earns its three stars for those strong opening acts. And if nothing else, I’ve had an experience I’ll probably never encounter again.