Within the bohemian inner city suburb of Northcote, beyond unmarked doors and up a set of stairs you’ll find venue 24 Moons. A mysterious and fantastic night spot / performance space that transforms once a month into The Gipsy Club Cabaret.
Upon entry, I was warmly greeted by some friendly door staff who mentioned a great place for me to sit. I appreciated this, as it was my first time visiting this venue (and show). This is definitely the type of place that rewards those who arrive early!
Welcoming the audience and setting the musical tone for the evening, band The Royal High Jinx opened with an upbeat set of songs which had the audience clapping and cheering along. Their happy beats were infectious, with audience members swaying and moving to the beat (which carried throughout the evening). MC Michael Wheatley looked much like a cross between a bohemian and Gomez Addams, and had plenty of snappy lines to entertain the audience with between acts (as well as a song, which was a nice touch). The Gipsy Club Cabaret is billed as a showcase of Eastern European style music, dance, sideshow and circus and it delivered in the most entertaining and surprising ways! Many of the dance acts which were set to tribal and Middle Eastern music truly took me away to another place. I honestly forgot that it was a Friday night in suburban Melbourne while I was there. There is naturally much to write about when a smorgasboard of entertainment happens right before your eyes, however I’ll try to pick some highlights (as hard as that may be!)
The Quizzical Mr Jeff was a highlight of the evening with his sublime manipulation, juggling and surprise productions. Fast paced and fantastic, when The Quizzical Mr Jeff is onstage you do not want to be looking anywhere else! Throughout the evening, the audience was introduced to many dancers, however they were all a highlight for me – whether it was dancing with swords or pretty flowing garments, or the usual bellydancer’s skirt that jingles, it was so easy to get carried away with the rhythm and spectacle of it all. Ronicka and Ayfer are wonderful to behold as a duo, as much as when they are solo performers. I much enjoyed Afyer’s dancing in tall heels, with her sassy dramatic hair flicks. Ronicka’s precision and strong poses were equally as captivating. Azra and her belly dance school were a delight. Azra’s solo performance was beautiful and exciting as she held all the eyes in the room. Dancers from her school were joyful, energetic and brought a whirling, whimsical feel to the evening. During their performance, we may as well have been in a courtyard in Morocco or in a far away place. All the dancers of the evening were spellbinding.
My personal highlight of the evening was Ferdi Cobra’s Kiss. I have seen many shows including fire performances / fire dancing, however none to date have ever been like Ferdi Cobra’s Kiss! Tattooed and toned, Ferdi wound his way through the audience, steaming up even the coldest of audience members. Quick with a flame and his hips, Ferdi lavished attention on the(mostly female) members of the audience. They say “it’s all in the hips” and that hips don’t lie and well those sayings are all true in Ferdi’s case! Playful without over-stepping boundaries, Ferdi made the audience excited and we knew how to make him smile in return – my voice was husky I whooped and cheered so much. I can guarantee that the internal temperature of the room was much hotter when Ferdi was performing – even I started to sweat. If any show producers are reading this: please bring Ferdi Cobra’s Kiss back for an encore performance!!
The fun of the night didn’t end post show, as The Royal High Jinx played some post show sets and the audience were invited to stay around to dance. This continued the fun atmosphere of the evening. A lovely way to end the show (versus having to hastily depart the venue). Some lucky audience members even got to dance with Ferdi (ladies, please form a line!) Do bring a nice outfit and your dancing shoes to this show.
VERDICT: If you’re ever looking for an escape on a budget – be enchanted and swept away in the beauty and movement of The Gipsy Club Cabaret! Highly recommended for a fun night out. Would not hesitate to return for a future night of entertainment.
*Disclaimer: I attended this performance as a guest of the producer
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