Today we get the chance to sit down with Foxi Blue, producer of EdFringe 2021 sell-out cabaret show Shenanigans Cabaret, to talk all things cabaret, burlesque, variety, EdFringe and more! Join us for a pixelated pint at the Binge Fringe Pub.
Jake: Last year you sold out your run here in Edinburgh! How did that invigorate your work and what can we expect to see this year?
Foxi: We actually didn’t plan to take our show up to the Edinburgh Fringe until late May last year. It was sort of an afterthought. So then when our tickets sold out within five days of being on sale, before we’d even announced the performers, we were stunned! As soon as the night was over we began to think about this year and what could be possible. We have refined the show to suit a different venue this year and it’s fast paced, energetic and exuberant, with an eclectic range of burlesque styles for the audience to enjoy.
Jake: Being a variety show, things shake up every night I’m sure, what defines the ‘Shenanigans Cabaret’ experience?
Foxi: Although our Fringe show this year is a burlesque heavy show, our regular monthly show in London exhibits all sorts of performance disciplines: circus, sideshow, drag, clowning, dance, live music, stand up comedy, performance poetry… Our motto is: if it’s a performance art, it fits on our stage. There are many shows in London and across the UK that focus on one, maybe two, disciplines, but Shenanigans Cabaret is one of the only true variety shows out there currently. We like our audience to be taken on a journey and to have something to discuss, debate and feel passionate about by the time they leave.
Jake: You mention that you are staunch promoters of inclusivity, diversity and body confidence – how has this influenced the development of the show and the spin you put on a classic cabaret?
Foxi: The world has such a wide range of people living in it. We believe in giving everyone the chance to show what they can do, no matter where they are from, what they look like, how old they are, what life they lead or who they are on the inside. This has generated a wave of show applicants who have skills that they may not have many platforms on which to perform, and are sometimes a little shocked when we say ‘yes, that sounds amazing, we want it!’ When we started out we had burlesque, some floor based acrobats, some dancers and singers. At our more recent shows we’ve had an opera singing accordion player, a gothic pole dancer, a sword swallowing vintage singer and a bisexual drag wizard! We want our performers to feel safe, welcomed and celebrated, and they always remain part of the Shenanigans family.
Jake: Now that we’re gearing up for Fringe season, what are you most excited for?
Foxi: We can’t wait to start flyering on the Royal Mile in our sparkly costumes and meeting passers by. One of the best things about the Fringe is that people get the opportunity to see something new, so we are very much looking forward to showing them what we’ve got to offer. Supporting other shows and seeing new work is also very important to us and we are quite pleased our show is on late in the evening so that we can run around Edinburgh during the day and support as many productions as possible!
Jake: Fitting with the themes of our magazine, if your show was an alcoholic beverage (think cocktails, shots, beers, be creative!) what would it be?
Foxi: Shenanigans Cabaret actually has its own cocktail! We held a cocktail designing competition last year and the winning cocktail is now served at our venue and it’s delicious! Vodka, pineapple juice and strawberry syrup. Just like our show it can be hard hitting, sharp and fruity, with one heck of a sugar kick! You can let the syrup settle at the bottom of the glass or you can muddle the whole thing together.
Jake: And how can people get more involved with the show?
Foxi: We are always on the hunt for performers for our shows, and as any performance discipline goes (except for fire and aerial at our current venue unfortunately) we would love to hear from artists that would be interested in performing with us in the future. Our regular London shows are on the last Thursday of every month and hold no theme, so anything goes! To apply, you can DM us on Instagram, @shenaniganscabaret , or email us at [email protected], with a video clip and some information about yourself, and we endeavour to give you a platform on one of our shows, whether you are a seasoned performer or just starting out. We welcome applications from anyone, and are always eager to also support marginalised groups on our stage.
You can catch Shenanigans Cabaret Burlesque Edition at TheSpace @ Niddry St, Lower Theatre, every day between August 15th-20th at 21:10. Tickets are available through the EdFringe Box Office.