REVIEW: WAYWARD (The Vaults) ★★★★★

Cat Loud’s blend of storytelling and song is comic, warm, sharp edged and broadly political but never bitter. She tells her surreal story interspersed with a wonderful selection of contemporary and classic, multi genre songs, sung beautifully.

This is political, feminist, cabaret with a bite, featuring Cat Loud who is a London-based writer and performer originally from the Island of Mull, off the west coast of Scotland. Wayward, is her second solo cabaret show.

I could discuss the background story about a chance encounter with a white rabbit one night while the worse for wear, but that somewhat misses the point. Basically the show is a hilariously funny mix of storytelling, feminist rant, and oh so beautiful soulful music.

The room is laid out like a slightly down at heal speakeasy. You could believe that anything might happen, that there are no barriers and no restrictions. You will not be disappointed. There is a certain frisson in the air when when the beautiful red haired cabaret artist sashay’s in.

Overall we are presented with a brilliant, slightly off kilter cabaret. Cat is accompanied by an electric piano played by, the oh so cool and unruffled, Fraser Parry. The vibe is bluesy in an illicit sexy style.

There is more audience participation, well female participation to be accurate, than is perhaps normal for a classic cabaret, particularly when she makes a teasing, on stage, costume change with four eager women standing around her to spare her modesty. Not that cat is noticeably unduly modest of course more shamelessly, wonderfully vulgar.

Cat describes the subject of her show as a queer heroine who follows a white rabbit into a secret speakeasy. Yes, true, but so much more as well. The inauguration of the new, sexist and so much worse, President of the United States is a godsend to Cat’s act and she gleefully makes the most of it. She is mightily impressive.

I suggest that you get on down to Waterloo and visit Cat in the Vaults. She is tremendous and feeds off of the enthusiasm of her audience. Last nights audience were slow to get started and, at first, were uncertain whether to applaud at the end of each song or to let the story smoothly carry on. At the finish they were wondering where the time went and were wishing for more. I know that I was.

Reviewed by Graham Archer

Wayward plays at The Vaults, Waterloo until 5 March 2017