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14 December 2002
C'est Vauxhall

Lyn Gardner: The Guardian

C'est delicious, c'est delightful, c'est divine. C'est the Duckie Christmas show, an all-singing, all-dancing, high-kicking, very alternative and very adult entertainment in a Vauxhall pub. It is years since I have seen such a delectable array of flesh-coloured tights topped with gold lamé.

A ticket buys you a seat at a table where you can sip champagne (or pale ale if you prefer - after all, Duckie pride themselves on being purveyors of "progressive working-class entertainment"). You then order from the à la carte show menu, which delivers personal performances direct to your table courtesy of Ursula Martinez, Maria Carnesky, Christopher Green and Miss High Leg Kick.

Each table is given 50 Duckie dollars to spend on a selection of starters, main courses and side dishes. Miss High Kick Does Seven Cocks - a turn that will change your view of balloon modelling for ever - will set you back 10 dollars, while the uncannily spot-on The Wicked Witch of the West Does Robert De Niro is a mere morsel at two dollars. There is a Spanish version of this for the more cosmopolitan among you. Chris Green's Bodyworld (10 dollars) doesn't quite offer a table-top autopsy but it is riveting none the less. Nacho Snatcho (10 dollars) is a spicy, tasty little number involving nachos, salsa dip and a part of the female anatomy. And you can pay five dollars to be insulted or complimented.

This is a very different kind of theatrical experience, and, although its purpose is no more than entertainment, it makes some sly comments on our cultural obsessions and the conspicuous consumption of Christmas - the pushing of the branded merchandise is ruthlessly funny. The Duckie jigsaw is a snip at £89.50. This is not everyone's cup of eggnog. But if you find that most principal girls are not camp enough, you should get up a party and book a table tout de suite. C'est trash. C'est très magnifique.

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