The Cholmondeleys and The Featherstonehaughs, One and a Half: The Pub Show

Review in Issue 14-3 | Autumn 2002

The Cholmondeleys and The Featherstonehaughs kicked off the Duckie-produced Nightbird season brilliantly with two dance works performed in the infamous confines of the Vauxhall Tavern.

Wearing skeletal masks, producing eerie, shaking rattling movements and accompanied by the amazing ‘country electro avant-garde duo’ the Victims of Death, the ten dancers were straight out of those B-grade horror films I didn’t always manage to avoid seeing in high school. Therefore, from the beginning of the first set, I thought it was going to be funny. But no matter how hard I tried, instead I found it compelling, disturbing, confronting and nightmarish. It subverted my initial boring expectations and I didn’t laugh once.

The second piece was a delve into the cabaret world of pre-Nazi Berlin, all performers Liza Minelli’s Sally Bowles gone wrong somehow: black corsets, wigs, suspenders, same deadpan bored expressions. The uniformity, androgyny even, lent an almost dreamlike quality to the performers’ flirtatious, slow, deliberate movements. The crowd couldn’t take their eyes off them and the performers finished with us baying for more.

During the night, an engraver recreated punters’ sexual fantasies on paper to then be hoisted up the pole for all and sundry to see. Whilst there was nothing out of the ordinary (save one woman’s desire to brand her name on the blacksmith…?) it did add to the general ‘je ne sais quoi’ of the evening, by the end of which we were all jumping up and down to the London Readers Wives inimitable turntable selection… Fantastisch, mein Herr!

Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Apr 2002

This article in the magazine

Issue 14-3
p. 28