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THE BEST LGBT BARS IN BRIGHTON: 2023 GUIDE

 INTRODUCTION

Look, there’s no denying that we love London. Everybody who’s been reading our blogs knows this. And whether you like London or not, you can’t deny: the city has so much to offer. From fashion, to fancy eateries, to having enough iconic landmarks to keep you entertained until the cows come home, there’s certainly a lot to love about London.

But saying that, we get that L-town may not be to everyone’s taste (to each their own, of course!). Plus this time, we’re not here to harp on about how wonderful our nation’s capital is (for once). This time, we’re heading back to our favourite coastal city in the UK.

Not sure where we’re on about? Let us paint you a word picture. It’s got colourful houses, quaint cobbled streets, stunning cliffs, gorgeous stony beaches, 8 million tourists per year, and it’s home to some of the biggest vloggers in the entire world. Have you guessed it?! No?! We’re on about the wonderful city of Brighton.

Brighton is an awesome city for multiple reasons. It’s chock-full of sunshine, liberalism, beaches, diversity, vintage shops, music, art and delicious vegan food. But another awesome thing about Brighton? It’s one of Europe’s best-known “gay cities”, and has been long-established as a UK hub for LGBTQ community. It’s even been argued as being the gay capital of Europe!

No matter who you are, where you’ve been, what your preferences are, how you identify, or what hardships you’ve faced in the past, know this. Brighton is a welcoming, safe place for any member of the rainbow community. Don’t believe us? Well, in the true Proud fashion, we’ve got the fun LGBTQ facts about Brighton to prove it.

Fun fact: Brighton has the largest number of civil unions in the UK, and the 2011 consensus displayed that 3.1% of Brighton’s legal partnerships were civil partnerships! Which is laymen’s terms, is over 2346 people!

This is pretty great considering civil partnerships were only made legal in the UK since 2004. Another Brighton fun fact: B-town has one of the largest Pride parades in the UK (second to London) and Brighton’s 2022 Pride parade saw a whopping 500,000 people walking in solidarity! Talk about being the “gay capital” of Europe!

Although this is quite a ways behind the staggering 4 million people at New York’s 2022 Pride march, half a million rainbow folks down at Brighton seaside is huge for the LGBTQ community! Hooray!

Another fun fact: more than 10% of over 16 year old’s in Brighton identify as LGBTQ, which is one of the highest figures of any city on the entire planet! And one last fun fact: Brighton’s first ever gay bar, The Bulldog, opened back in 1979: and until its unfortunate closure, it was the “go-to” place for Brighton-based LGBTQ folks.

Wait. We at Proud Cabaret love a joke and a fun fact as much as the next. But we need to get serious for a second. We know, we know – not a statement you hear from the country’s most flamboyant and daring cabaret company. But listen.

Our blogs are usually a barrel of laughs. But in life, the need for social inclusion is no joke. What do we mean? The desire to be accepted, welcomed, feel safe, and feel like you belong somewhere is ingrained within every single one of us. It’s part of what makes us human.

And this is rings true more than ever for members of the LGBTQ community. For decades (scratch that, centuries), queer folks have been discriminated against, bullied, left out, ridiculed, overlooked and far worse. And even in 2023 when attitudes towards the LGBTQ community has positively changed (we still have a ways to go), finding a safe and inclusive place to live is still just as important today as it was a few decades ago.

Not only that – as well as a safe area to live, it’s vital for queer people to know about local the LGBTQ friendly bars in their neighbourhood. Whether you want to chat, to decompress with a glass of wine in hand, to get wind of a cool new place to take your date, or to simply meet new likeminded rainbow folks, it’s vital to have the lowdown on all the LGBTQ-friendly spots a city has to offer.

Speaking of, that’s where we come in. We’ve done some deep research and found the friendliest, coolest and best LGBTBQ bars in Brighton so you don’t have to get lost in B-town’s cobbled lanes trying to find them yourself. Whether you’re in Brighton and want to dance all night, to drink all day, or natter with your pal until the cows come home, this blog is for you. So check out our top picks for the best gay bars Brighton can offer for the LGBTQ+ community below.

PROUD CABARET

Are we kicking off our top gay bars in Brighton list with our very own venue? Yes, yes we are. Some might say it’s hubristic of us to start by shouting out our venue. But it’s informative, really. Because Proud Cabaret Brighton just so happens to be one of the top LGBTQ-spots in the whole of B-town. Cabaret world has long-been a haven for the “misfits”, “rejects”, “weirdos” and “outsiders”. AKA, our kind of people.

Society has described cabaret in the past as the “underbelly” of the theatre world: but to us, cabaret is synonymous for being inclusive, inviting and welcoming to absolutely everybody. Plus, cabaret has been a queer space for decades past.

We like to joke around, but in all seriousness, Proud Cabaret Brighton places great importance in being a safe, welcoming space for all members of the rainbow community.

Plus we’ve got some brilliant queer-centered musical bingo nights, brunches and fun cabaret shows going on at the moment that celebrate all things LGBTQ. You can find some more information about this here. So next time you’re in cool Kemptown (Brighton’s gay village), come check us out! Let’s just say the judges of RuPaul’s Drag Race would explode with uncontrollable cackles if they ever saw a Proud Brighton Cabaret!

BAR REVENGE

How could we chat about Brighton LGBTQ bars without shouting out Bar Revenge? Bar Revenge, AKA Club Revenge, is found round the corner from Charles Street and is one of the best gay clubs Brighton has in the city. It’s got Y2K-esque décor (who doesn’t love that?!) and a rooftop that’s buzzing no matter what time of year it is.

And Revenge has events going on almost every night. From DJ sets on the weekend to theme nights, to Drag nights, and a “big queer quiz” every Monday, Bar Revenge is not one to be missed. Oh, and it’s a nightclub, too! Score!

BAR BROADWAY

Do you like show tunes? Then you will love Bar Broadway. The cute little bar is on Steine Street and is, you guessed it, the place if you want to sing Broadway hits from the top of your lungs. Alexa, play Somewhere Over The Rainbow. And it got completely refurbished last year, so make sure to check out the new and improved Bar Broadway!

LEGENDS RESORT

Who doesn’t like a sea view? Legends Bar is on Marine Parade – and thanks to its gorgeous sea-facing view, it’s always buzzing with bar-hoppers and lots of sunshine. So you can gaze out into the ocean whilst you sip on a delicious cocktail – what’s not to like?

Legends Bar recently got refurbished and boasts chic wood-panelled interiors with a charming bar and seating area. The bar raises the roof at its weekly queer events like the “Friday Night Shift” DJ set, and also offers space for a chilled afternoon drink by the sea. AKA, the best of both worlds!

IRONWORK STUDIOS

This one is a little different, but we love that. Ironwork Studios is just a 10 minute walk from the Royal Pavilion and is truly one of the best gay venues in Brighton. Located on Cheapside, the event space borders Brighton’s famous North Laine quarter. And not only one of the best LGBTQ performances spaces and TV studios in town, it’s owned by none other than Brighton Pride!

Ironworks boasts a spectacular cast of artsy folks including musicians, poets, comedians a drag queens. It hosts open mic nights like Stephen Grant’s Forge Comedy (one of Brighton’s best comedy nights), live music nights and other live entertainment.

The venue works closely with multiple local charities such as the Pride Central Development Fund, The Pride Community Foundation and the Brighton Rainbow fund to ensure that Brighton’s LGBTQ youth are safe, taken care of, and included.

CHARLES STREET TAP

If you’re familiar with Brighton’s gay scene, you’ll know about Charles Street Tap. And if not, here’s a cheeky recommendation. Self described as “The Queen of Craft”, Charles Street Tap has been a staple in Brighton gay village for 20 years now!

The bar is famed for creating the tastiest craft beers and freshest stoned baked pizzas in town, and has an impressive array of rare gins. And it hosts quiz nights and buzzing DJ sets! Alexa, play Pizza by Martin Garrix.

LE VILLAGE

If you like Thai food, you’ll love Lé Village. Lé Village is right in the middle of St. James’s Street and is one of Brighton’s biggest and best spots for cocktails and you guessed it – Thai cuisine. And it’s got a lovely roof terrace which is perfect for some good old fashioned people watching!

THE CAMELFORD ARMS

Calling all of Brighton’s Bears! Although The Camelford Arms welcomes a mixed crowd of over thirties, it’s one of the classic Brighton gay bars. Brighton’s Kemptown (the main gay village) has a plethora of LGBT-community-friendly bars, and The Camelford Arms is one of them. Folks can find a cosy double fireplace and Moroccan themed patio at the back of the venue. Not only that, it serves tasty pub grub a-plenty and is mere minutes away from the iconic Brighton seafront! Double yay!

CENTRE STAGE GAY BARS

Pardon the pun, but are you ready to take Centre Stage? Doing exactly what it says on the tin, Centre Stage is a live music venue bursting with show tunes and specialises in music and film themed party nights and live music events. Although it’s predominantly aimed at gay men, all other guys, gals and non-binary pals are more than welcome at this seafront bar!

Centre Stage was formerly The Amsterdam Hotel and has recently undergone a top to bottom refurbishment. Now, guests can enjoy a gorgeous sea view from their new and improved front-facing terrace. The Amsterdam was a staple in Brighton’s seafront gay bars, so we’re sure that Centre Stage is no different!

THE ACTORS AT THE MARLBOROUGH PUB AND HOTEL

Now here’s a welcoming LGBT pub that’s rich in queer history (and delicious pizza). The venue is situated under the famous Marlborough Hotel, which Brightonians describe as one of the friendliest “gay hotels”. Plus, the venue has a rich history of championing LGBTQ productions and shining a light on local queer artists across decades past.

The Actors relaunched a couple of years ago and has a really warm and welcoming atmosphere. Despite the name, there is no unnecessary drama! Only deep, dark colourways, wooden panelling and good vibes. And if you’re part of a gay couple looking for LGBT friendly establishments to stay in, hit up The Marlborough!

THE MARINE TAVERN

Next on our list is The Marine Tavern. The Marine Tavern one of Brighton’s tiny but mighty gay pubs that sits on Broad Street in Kemptown (the gay-friendly neighbourhood in Brighton). Fun fact: it’s actually the smallest gay pub in Brighton! The pub holds themed party nights each week that bring in a mixed crowd of nice folks. The owners and staff are so sweet and give a warm welcome to anybody who pops in for a drink! Now that’s what we love to hear.

ARCOBALENO

Ciao, bella! And welcome to Arcobaleno. Arcobaleno is the Italian word for rainbow (how sweet is that?!), and it opened in June 2022, so its a little gaybie on the Brighton gay scene. It’s got a luxuriously-designed bar and a large alfresco dining area that is amazing during the summertime. It also does monthly quiz nights – so make sure you’re queer pop culture knowledge is up to scratch before coming to Arcobaleno! Oh, and it does yummy cocktails. Aperol Spritz, anyone?

AFFINITY BAR

Affinity Bar has worn a few hats over the years. It was originally named Poison Ivy, then it got renamed to Infinity Bar, until the owners finally settled on Affinity Bar. It’s open from 12pm to 12am, every single day. And calling all karaoke lovers! This bar’s for you – it’s often throwing buzzing karaoke nights drawing in a fun mixed crowd of queer and straight folks alike!

THE PRESTONVILLE ARMS

The Prestonville Arms is a welcoming LGBT pub that has been newly acquired by a lovely gay couple. Despite the fact that it’s closed on Mondays, it is positively popping off every other night of the week! And it’s got a gorgeous open fire! Although it is a gay-friendly space, it’s welcoming to absolutely every walk of life. And like pretty much every gay bar in Brighton, the vibes are immaculate.

THE GROSVENOR BAR

Next up we’ve got The Grosvenor Bar. And if you’re talking about gay Brighton, you’d be silly not to shout out The Grosvenor. The venue has a charming modern interior with an open fire, and is absolutely plastered with cute fairy lights to set the mood. The Grosvenor is also a few minutes away from Brighton’s iconic stoney beach, so you can have a midnight walk on the beach after a fabulous night full of delicious drinks and banging tunes!

THE ZONE BAR

The Zone Bar is next on our list. It’s been a go-to in Brighton’s gay scene for a while and is greatly valued by the local community. The Zone Bar maintains a friendly but “no-attitude” policy. Every weekend, The Zone Bar hosts fantastic queer entertainment and live acts that pull in a huge mixed crowd time after time. The Zone Bar is located on St James’s Street, and is just a 7 minute walk away from Brighton beach!

DOCTOR BRIGHTON’S

Craving a game of pool? Doctor Brighton’s has the prescription. Doctor Brighton’s is a seafront pub and is a Brighton institution due to being one of the longest-running gay bars in the area. The venue has all the ingredients of a quintessential British pub. Charming wooden floors, budget-friendly drinks, deep, comfortable sofas, pool tables.

And the best part? It’s got a wonderful sea view. So if you’re looking for a mid-week hangout spot for a game of pool and a cheeky drink or two, head over to Doctor Brighton’s. Plus on the weekends their resident DJ’s set the dance floor on fire with head-banging tunage. Score!

CONCLUSION

So there you have it, folks. Proud Cabaret’s top picks for the best LGBTQ bars in Brighton. So the next time you’re walking the Brighton Lanes, you’ll know where to go for a little dose of rainbow. Let us leave you with one last thing – happy bar hopping, folks!

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The Top Gay Bars in London 2023

A CLEAR THEME

If you’ve been keeping track of our blogs, you’d have realised a clear theme by now. That we absolutely love to shout from the rooftops how great London is. Look: London is innovative, interesting, fabulous for fashion, film and food. And it’s home to 2 of our 3 venues (shout out Embankment and Proud City!) What’s not to love?

From hosting one of the greatest ever Olympic Games, to inventing the Christmas cracker and the Tube (yes, really!), to serving as a muse for countless books and televisions shows, to being one of the world’s top tourist destinations year after year – it’s undoubtedly one of the greatest cities on this planet we call home.

Photo Credit: Joshua Mcknight

A FORWARD-THINKING CITY

It’s open-minded mentality draws in eclectic folks from all walks of life. And as it turns out, it’s (unsurprisingly) extremely inclusive to the queer community, too. For decades past, LGBTQIA+ folks have flocked to London for multiple reasons. From all corners of the globe, queer folks move to find likeminded friends of the rainbow community, and to find a home where they can finally be their authentic selves.

And London does not just “tolerate” queer folks, far from it. London celebrates them (as it should!). Fun fact: one of the first ever recorded gay bars in London was The White Swan way back in 1810! Another fun fact: London saw a whopping 30,000 people walking in the annual pride parade! And another fun fact: the first ever London Pride parade was way back in July of 1972! But all fun facts aside, as well as New York and Berlin, London is widely known as one of the hubs for gay guys, queer gals and non-binary pals. That’s what we love to hear.

Photo Credit: Nicholas Swatz

LGBTQIA+ HANGOUTS ACCROSS THE CITY

Whether you want a pub for a relaxed pint or happy hour, a pleasure-seeking night at a superclub, or a cool retro bar for your next date, London’s got it. But in its true London fashion, the mass number of gay bars makes it feel impossible trying to find the best one.

MORE GAY BARS THAN OUTFITS IN ELTON JOHN’S WARDROBE

But we hear you. “Which gay bar in London does karaoke nights?” “Or how about any cool gay bars in South London?” “Or ones close to Charing Cross and King’s Cross?” “Can you recommend a gay bar with Drag Queens?”

“How about a lively gay bar in South London that does club nights and has dance poles?” “Or do you know an East London pub that’s also a gay bar?” “Do you know any gay bars with over three floors?” “Or gay bars that regularly do themed nights?” Questions, questions, questions…

Photo Credit: cottonbro studio

THAT’S WHERE WE COME IN

We’re here to give you the info about the top gay bars in London so you don’t have to aimlessly walked the city streets or traipse through those dreaded Google Reviews for hours on end.

In all seriousness, no matter how you identify, being clued in about where to go to find like minded folks is a huge part of feeling included in this diverse city.

And we at Proud would love to help with that. Fancying a night out in a London gay bar? Once again, Proud has you sorted. Check out our list of London’s top gay bars in 2023 below.

Photo Credit: Anete Lusina

COMPTONS OF SOHO

We’re starting things off in Soho, the gay district in London. We’d be silly not to start here. So we’re kicking off our list of London’s best gay bars with Comptons of Soho, on Old Compton Street. Established in 1986, Comptons of Soho is one of the founding Fairy Godmothers of London’s gay bar scene.

Let’s just say they’ve been serving drinks to queer folks back when the late great George Michael was still in Wham. Comptons of Soho has 2 bars and a quiet lounge area, and hosts a weekly pub quiz. Plus it has some vibrant DJ nights, too! A bit of something for everybody.

Photo Credit: Alexander Grey

G-A-Y

We’re sticking in Soho (for now) for the next hot gay establishment on our list – the aptly named G A Y Bar. Fun fact: the bar and club was opened in 1976 – so it’s actually older than Comptons! The bar has 3 floors that are always chock full of cheap drinks, young queer folks, Lady Gaga songs and good vibes. And this cheeky establishment’s got a naughty older sister venue, G A Y late. They have a later licence for those who want to party until the early hours.

KU BAR

If you love huge gay clubs in London, this one’s for you. The mighty Ku Bar is located a stone’s throw from Leicester Square and is one of the biggest and best super-clubs in London. It’s got three floors to dance the night away, plus a vibey DJ room in the basement. Ku Bar is definitely a prime spot for throwing shapes until the sun comes up. Alexa, play Born This Way.

Proud Late Embankment

PROUD LATE

Next we’re onto an old reliable. And it just so happens to be one of our own venues, too. Yes, we’re tooting our own horn (again). But to be honest, it deserves to be tooted. Especially when it concerns Proud Late. Proud Late takes place at our flagship Embankment venue on the iconic Victoria Embankment. When the clock strikes midnight, our daring cabaret venue transforms into a roaring superclub.

Proud Late has seen the likes of Drake, Tyga, Stormzy, Wiz Khalifa and more grace our grand stage. But (way) more importantly, we’re a safe haven for all members of the LGBTQIA+ community.

No matter your preference, background, or how you identify, it’s so important for us to not only be inclusive, but be a safe space for queer folks to drink, dance and socialise.

Proud late boasts lots of events (including gay listings london embankment) so be sure to check out the ‘whats on‘ page to see whats happening!

WEST 5 BAR VAUXHALL

Next up we’ve got West 5 bar down in South Ealing. Another “golden oldie” in London’s gay bar scene, West 5 Bar rang in its 25th birthday in 2018! Some folks could say its a retro bar as it has all the amenities of a good old fashioned pub. A grand piano, pool table and a plethora of loyal regulars – what’s not to love? So next time you’re in Vauxhall, check out West 5.

DUKE OF WELLINGTON

Funnily nicknamed “The Welly”, Duke of Wellington is another Soho staple. And much like the other gay bars in Soho we’ve mentioned, it’s been alive and kicking for over 25 years now! Situated right by Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus, the spot’s known for weekend DJ events and cheap drinks (for London anyways). Plus the bar staff are super cool and hands on.

Photo Credit: Mark Angelo Sampan

HEAVEN

Next, we’re heading to Heaven. Not the heaven you think, though. The Heaven on Earth. Opening back in 1979, the dance club has been going way before RuPaul started his Drag Race. And Heaven’s not just London-famous, it’s world-famous. And draws in crowds from all 4 corners of the globe. It’s globally known for having state-of-the-art sound and lighting fixtures and throwing mighty DJ events of epic proportions.

FREEDOM BAR

Whether you’re looking for a cosmopolitan bar, or a spot for an evening of dancing, look no further. Because Freedom’s got both. It’s got a groovy bar on the ground floor that serves champagne and yummy cocktails in abundance, and a basement full of dance poles, banging tunes and disco balls. In other words, it’s business in the front, and party in the back…Alexa, play George Michael’s Freedom.

Photo Credit: Alexander Grey

SIORAI BAR

For our next bar, we’re venturing out of Soho (for now) and into North London. This popular bar is special because it is one of the few LGBTQIA+ bars in Northern London. Siorai Bar is open from Thursdays to Sundays and boasts cheap drink. It’s karaoke nights make it a fantastic place for singing, dancing and socialising.

CENTRAL STATION

Smack bang in the middle of Kings cross is the aptly named Central Station. Granted, it is a bit old fashioned and is mostly overlooked when it comes to LGBTQIA+ bars in London, but look. Classics are classics for a reason.

Upstairs sees a cutesy B&B with cosy rooms and believe it or not, the pricing is actually pretty budget friendly, for London. And every Saturday night they throw a karaoke evening which draws in an eclectic crowd of LGBTQIA+ folks. Although it’s not the hottest spot in London town, its central location and great atmosphere certainly makes it a good choice!

THE BRIDGE BAR

Tucked away behind Clapham High Street, The Bridge bar sits between sex shop Fetch and LGBTQIA+ cocktail bar, Arch. From the weekdays to the weekend, The Bridge Bar is always jam packed, and host a plethora of fruity shows.

Photo Credit: cottonbro studio

FIRE

Fire is a night club in Vauxhall, tucked away under a railway arch. Weekend after weekend, its dance floor is packed with folks dancing to the hottest DJ’s and the freshest mixes. And for good reason. With pounding bass that shakes you from the toes up, and laser lights moving in perfect synchronicity to the music, it’s a super dance club that never lets you down.

ROYAL VAUXHALL TAVERN

We’re going in with another old reliable, the Royal Vauxhall Tavern. Situated in, you guessed it, Vauxhall, this place has been eyed by properties in the area for years due to its prime location, but luckily, the RVH has too much value in the community to go anywhere.

Fun fact: Princess Diana popped into the tavern once dressed in male drag! Another fun fact: Drag extraordinaire Lily Savage frequented the bar in the 80’s! This Grade II listed building boasts awesome events like Push the Button and Bar Wotever. Is that iconic or is that iconic?

THE COCK TAVERN, KENNINGTON

Don’t get it twisted. It’s cock as in bird, people. Anyways, The Cock Tavern is self-described as a “free-spirited free house”, and boasts a quirky Georgian-Tiki themed interior. Plus, you must try their signature Cock Punch cocktail!

THE QUEEN ADELAIDE

The Queen Adelaide was erected by the original owner after the iconic The George and Dragon was forced to close down back in 2015.

But worry not, The Queen Adelaide has a great atmosphere and is a queer space frequented by locals and tourists alike. And the groovy interiors are certainly Instagrammable. Watch our for the famous horses head!

Proud City

PROUD CITY

Big shout out to Embankment’s naughty little cousin venue, Proud City. Located on Mark Lane, Proud City is a cabaret bar in central London.

Again, we are shamelessly blowing our own trumpet. But we can’t help it if it just so happens to be a hub for London’s LGBTQIA+ community. And if we do say so ourselves, we put on a heck of a show.

One of our best shows? A musical, Dragalicious extravaganza called Now That’s What I Call Bingo. Hosted by the country’s outrageous Drag Queens, NTWICB combines music booze and bingoin a raucous evening celebrating all things LGBTQIA+, all headed up by the best queer artists in the cabaretand drag game.

And don’t worry, the banter and the drinks are flowing ten-fold, my friend. Proud City hosts Now That’s What I Call Bingo Friday and Saturday nights – want to cop some tickets? Head over to our Proud City website. It’s not one to be missed!

DALSTON SUPERSTORE

The next spot on our list goes to Dalston Superstore. Dalston Superstore is sat on Kingsland Street and is a two-sided coin. What do we mean? Well, by day its a lively brunch joint, and by night the basement dance floor exploding with heart-pounding tunes and a buzzing, diverse crowd of LGBTQIA+ folks. Now that’s what we like to hear!

SHE SOHO

Yes, we’re going back to Soho. But it’s one of the gay hubs of the city for a reason! Found close to Leicester Square, She Soho does exactly what it says on the tin.

The place hosts everything from drag king nights, social events, and is a creative hub for queer women in London. But saying that, men are also allowed to come in and join the fun! This quirky basement bar is a must-visit if you’re in Soho.

HALFWAY TO HEAVEN

The aptly-named Halfway to Heaven marks the exact halfway point between Soho and the world-famous club, Heaven. Punny, hey?! Halfway to Heaven has two floors. The ground floor bar is an intimate spot for a cheeky mid-week catch up with a pal. And if you head down to the basement any night of the week, you’ll find some funny as heck performances from some of the city’s best Drag Queens!

EAGLE LONDON

If you’re a (slightly) older member of London’s gay community, you’d have heard of Eagle by now. Eagle is located in Kennington, South London. And although it was previously pretty exclusive to the “gay golden oldies” it’s now broadened its horizons and now welcomes in a fresh, younger LGBTQIA+ crowd.

Oh and how could we forget? Every Saturday night sees a set for Horse Meat Disco, which is one of the biggest and best club nights in this fine city. Plus it’s got a cutesy beer garden that hosts barbeques in the summertime! Score!

RUPERT STREET BAR

Located on funnily enough, Rupert Street, the buzzing bar is a lovely spot for a cocktail evening to prime yourself for a night at out the hedonistic Soho clubs. Found just round the corner from the world-famous Piccadilly Circus, Rupert Street Bar boasts a happy hour from 1pm every single Saturday and Sunday. Also, if you love a cheeky bit of people watching, the bar’s huge windows are more than happy to oblige!

YARD BAR

And if you want to continue your little gay bar crawl before a night out on the town, head to Yard Bar. It’s just around the corner from Rupert Street Bar. And it’s got a sweet outdoor space plastered with cutesy fairy lights. Yard Bar draws in a mixed crowd of LGBTQIA+ folks and always has a great atmosphere.

THE GLORY

If you’re ever looking for a queer East London pub, you must try The Glory. The Glory opened its doors in 2015 and is a club, pub and queer performance space. And it’s known to think outside of the box when it comes to queer entertainment.

You want examples? Well, it was the UK’s first establishment to host a queer Jewish night! Mazel Tov to them! Plus their talented mixologists can whip you up anything from a classic bear to bespoke, yummy cocktails.

CONCLUSION

As we’ve reached the end of this blog, you should be well informed about all the biggest, booziest and best LGBTQIA+ . Although we like to have a laugh, but the importance of finding spaces inclusive to LGBTQIA+ folks is no joke. So here you have it, our list of gay bars for every colour of the rainbow. Happy bar-hopping, folks!

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DRAG GUIDE: THE HOTTEST DRAG QUEENS IN THE UK 2023

INTRODUCTION

Don’t get it twisted. There’s been lots of occasions where society has given someone (or something) awesome some immediate recognition and its (well-deserved) acclaim. Like the invention of the light bulb. Or London’s first underground tube line. Or baggy jeans coming back into fashion. And Leonardo DiCaprio’s performance in The Beach

But all jokes aside: there’s been multiple instances where this has not happened. What do we mean? Sometimes, individuals or groups are busy doing them – and the world doesn’t get it. To the point where it takes society decades to catch up. To realise that yes, what they’re doing is amazing. And no – they’re not going anywhere. Case in point: electric cars, the Uber app, Netflix. Cut to a few years (or decades) later, society has caught up and it’s now celebrated by millions.

We know this happens lots in the manufacturing industry. And in the entertainment industry? It’s the same thing. You want examples? The Beatles were rejected time and time again before finding fame.

Plus, Harrison Ford didn’t get his first role until after 30. And no publishers wanted to touch Stephen King’s first manuscripts with a 10 foot pole. Yes, these groundbreaking artists and performers were initially overlooked. And another example of this? Drag Queens.

Society took years to accept Drag Queens: and not just as entertainers, or as a community, but their existence. For decades, Drag Queens were ridiculed, dismissed and bullied in the pop culture realm. But finally, thankfully, this has changed – especially in more recent years.

Thanks to evolved thinking and films like Kinky Boots and Priscilla Queen of the Desert, (plus who could forget the worldwide phenomenon that is RuPaul’s Drag Race?), the world finally caught up and realised the following. Drag Queens aren’t just here to slay: they’re here to stay. What are we getting at?

THE INSIDE SCOOP ON DRAG QUEENS IN THE UK

Who you need to watch perform, who’s serving humor sass-aplenty, and who needs to get a spot on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, like, yesterday. Here’s our list of the hottest British Drag Queens for 2023 (move over, Drag Race Australia!). And the best part? A lot of these honeys were or currently are members of the Proud Family. And if you want to catch these darling Queens in person, you can book yourself a show here. So check out our list for the the 2023 list of the UK’s hottest Drag Queens.

“WE’RE ALL BORN NAKED, AND THE REST IS DRAG” – RU PAUL

LYDIA L’SCABIES

We’re kicking off our list of the hottest Drag Queens UK with the one, the only… Lydia L’Scabies. If we’re talking Drag Race, Lydia is a huge contender for the top UK Drag Queen crown. With the stage presence of an old-school diva and the ability to make a room roar like a stand up comedian, we’d be a miss if we didn’t shout out Lydia first. Plus her stage name is giggle-inducing as heck. And pardon the pun, but we’re so Proud to have Lydia as a compere extraordinaire down at the Proud Brighton stage.

TAYRIS MONGARDI

If the show’s producers are reading this, know that Tayris Mongardi is a Queen that needs a spot on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, like, yesterday. Winner of the 2021 instalment of Brighton Big Drag Pageant, the Brightonian beauty has been smoking her competition for years now (in more ways that one). Tayris not only famous down in Brighton, she’s making a name for herself in the rest of the UK, too. A show with Tayris in it is like dying and going to Drag Heaven.

GLEW THE QUEEN

Self-described as “sticky, sultry and stupid”, Glew the Queen is up next. The only thing stupid is how Glew’s competition would feel if she got cast on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK. Glew is another resident Brightonian. Look: a cityknown for its yearly Pride parade is bound to be home to some of the country’s best Drag Queens, too. Glew the Queen is known in B-town for her flamboyant looks – and the personality to match them! Let’s say that if Bianca del Rio could see Glew do her thing on stage – she’d wipe away tears of Pride.

EX-GIRLFRIEND

Are you an epicure who likes comedy? Silly question: basically everyone loves to eat and laugh. Well imagine if you could spend an evening watching a cabaretwith gourmet food, dancing, dazzling costumes and outrageous comedy all thrown in? Sounds a bit too good to be true, but that’s what our next hot Queen Ex-Girlfriend is for. She’s a resident down esteemed LGBTQIA+ bar. And as it goes, part of our wonderful cast, and is a regular performer at Proud Brighton. With outrageous humor and style, Ex Girlfriend whos how to start a party. We know she’d slay RuPaul’s snatch game with her eyes closed.

ALIK THE DRAG QUEEN

Alik the Drag Queen is another one to watch when it comes to Britain’s hottest Drag Queens. Not only is Alik huge on the UK Drag scene, she’s a host and a music producer, too! Oh, and she has her own merch line. A top Drag Queen and musical too?! If you’re a Queen and you’re reading this, you better hope you’re not put up against Alik when lip-syncing for your life.

ZORANA

Zorana is a non-binary Drag Queen and character artist that resides in Brighton. Hailing from Serbia, the beauty has fans all across Europe. And for good reason. From their spell-binding stage presence, to get-ups emulating everything from old-school glamour, to animals, to iconic movie characters, Zorana is a multifaceted Drag Queen to say the least. And if they could see them, judges on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK would give them the crown for their amazing outfits alone!

BIMINI BON BOULASH

Calling all boys, girls and non-binary pals! If you haven’t been living under a rock, you’ll know all about Bimini Bon Boulash. Bimini was a runner up in Season 2 RuPaul’s Drag Race UK and has performed shows all over the country. Whether it’s a comedy challenge, a lip sync, or a dance off, Bimini comes out on top no question. Other Queens already know, but let’s state it for those living under a rock: Bimini does not come to play. She comes to slay.

CONCLUDING

Book your show at Proud Cabaret today to experience the unmatched energy and excitement of a Drag performance. Catch these amazing Drag Queens in person and witness the art of Drag come alive on stage. Don’t miss this opportunity to be entertained by some of the best Drag performers in the UK. Get your tickets now and prepare to be dazzled!

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WHAT IS THE STORYLINE OF CABARET?

HUMBLE BEGINNINGS

We may have descended from apes, but obviously, there’s multiple things that set us apart from our Primate brothers.

Our heightened consciousness. Our souls. The fact this planet speaks over 7000 languages. Our ability to walk, run and dance and ice skate on our two legs. Play sports. Sustain deep, life-long interpersonal relationships. Perform heart surgery. Engineer bridges, boats and buildings that somehow don’t fall down. Craft delicious food. Raise families. Write books. Fly planes and rockets. Study anatomy and figure out that contrary to early 19th century beliefs, antibiotics do save lives. Discover chocolate, cheese and wine. Straighten crooked teeth. We could go on and on and on. But we digress.

CREATIVITY PIPS ALL

Sure, we’re technically animals, but of course there’s lots of things that makes us (literally) stand head and shoulders above the rest of the Animal Kingdom. And one of the most important differences to note? Our ability to create things.

From designing clothes, to making art, to writing plays, to composing music, our propensity to create is certainly curious. Look, you don’t see a band of gorillas creating their own banging tunes. Well, there is a band called Gorillaz, but that one’s thanks to Damon Albarn. Alexa, play Feel Good Inc.

WE’RE NOT JUST “ANIMALS” – WE’RE CREATORS, TOO.

But where does this come from? Why are we so inclined to do such things? We’d say humanity’s need to be creative is as innate as the need to breathe. But that’s just an educated guess. All in all, it’s an intriguing philosophy to ponder. But you know what’s also fascinating? How we respond to other people’s art. Namely, how it makes us feel.

How is it possible that listening to a song transports you back in time? You close your eyes, and suddenly you’re a child again, running around your mum’s back yard to Bowie’s Sound and Vision. How can fashion, the sewing together of materials, help people feel confident to express their true selves? How can a painting depict human emotion so flawlessly? How can a West-End play completely hold a theatre’s attention in a distracted world of mindless scrolling and 7 second videos? Beats us.

But we must say, one of our most impressive, emotive forms of art is the medium of film.

Films make us laugh. And cry (look – there wasn’t a dry eye in the house when Mufasa fell off the cliff in The Lion King). Films make us believe in love. And make us scared. Or make us care about the wellbeing of fictional characters. They make us aware of important historical events. Shed light on difficult topics like grief, divorce and addiction. And if only for a few hours, they take us completely out of our own heads. And into an immersive fictional world. So much so, that when you’re watching it, feels oh so real.

It’s astonishing. From The Godfather, to The Breakfast Club, to Pulp Fiction to Parasite, we humans have made some truly amazing films in our time. But there’s one movie that sticks out as one of the greatest movies of all time (move over, Avatar!). That perfectly encapsulates complex human emotions. That transcends genre. That comments upon key historical events. That has a cult fandom. That stands the test of time. Which movie are we talking about? We’re on about the all-singing, all-dancing, romantic, historical musical that is…Cabaret.

WAIT. YOU HAVEN’T SEEN CABARET? ARE YOU SERIOUS?

We’re kidding (kind of). Well, it sounds like you’ve been in a pop culture coma since the 1970’s. But that’s what we’re here for. We at Proud Group will give you the low down about the hit film Cabaret, and why Cabaret remains one of the greatest movies of all time. Stuck on what to watch on the telly? Look no further, folks. Because as a wise girl called Sally once said: “life is a Cabaret, old chum.”

 

HISTORICAL CONTEXT

Before we deep-dive into the plot of Cabaret, we must give you a bit of context because believe it or not, the cinematic wonder that is Cabaret did not start with the movie.

BACK TO 1904

Far from it. We wouldn’t even have the privilege to utter the word Cabaret without Christopher Isherwood. “Who is this?”, you ask? Christopher Isherwood (born 26th August 1904) was a playwright, novelist, screenwriter and autobiographer of English and American descent. And even if you haven’t heard of him, Hollywood is no stranger to the work of Christopher Isherwood. Fun fact: his famous book, A Single Man, was adapted for the screen back in 1964, and again by designer Tom Ford in 2009.

AND FAST-FORWARD TO 1929

Anyway, a young Christopher Isherwood visited Berlin for the first time during his post-grad studies in 1929. Stay with us, here. This is important. The city put a spell on him, because a few months later, Isherwood uprooted his life and moved there. And after falling in love with a handsome German boy, Isherwood found bliss and self-acceptance.

THE EARLY LGBTQIA+ COMMUNITY

Not only that, Isherwood became connected to the loving tribe of Weimar-era Berlin’s LGBTQIA+ community.

He could live openly as a young gay man, and thus, felt like he’d finally found a home. Isherwood immersed himself in Berlin’s libertine nightlife scene and kept a tight circle of other like-minded expatriate friends. Again, stay with us here.

All of this is important. It inspired Isherwood to pen tales about his vibrant life in Berlin’s Weimar republic. This turned into what we know today as Goodbye to Berlin (1939), an autobiographical novel documenting the rise and fall of the Weimar republic. The novel starts by covering Isherwood’s sojourn as a hedonist seeking pleasure, and ends with Adolf Hitler’s steady ascension into power.

WHERE ARE WE GOING WITH THIS?

Well, Goodbye to Berlin contains a little story by the name of Sally Bowles. 

Sally Bowles was a novella based upon Isherwood’s real-life room mate and Jean Ross, a British cabaret singer. And as it goes, Sally Bowles turned out to be Isherwood’s most famous character. The year is 1951, and play write John Van Druten was first to adapt Isherwood’s work. He turned it into the play I Am A Camera. From there, the work John Van Druten inspired a Broadway production guru by the name of John Kander. Fast-forward to the year 1966. John Kander stepped in and adapted I Am A Camera into the musical adaptation that we know today as Cabaret.

Fun fact: the Broadway extraordinaire and his writing partner Fred Ebb have produced and scored many a successful Broadway production, including A Family Affair, Chicago and Woman of the Year. John Kander and Fred Ebb’s Broadway revival of Cabaret was met with vast critical acclaim. The production went on to receive the 1967 Tony Award for Best Musical and Best Original Score. But the Broadway Revival wasn’t a patch on the film version…

CABARET: THE PLOT

So whats cabaret about? Fast-forward again. Six years later. February 13th, 1972, to be exact. Why is this day important? Because it marked the release date of the film version of Cabaret, directed by filmmaker extraordinaire Bob Fosse. Now, here’s the 411 on all things Cabaret. If Cabaret was a rollercoaster, there’d be a strict height restriction. Buckle your seats belts, because you’re in for a wild ride!

THE YEAR IS 1931, BERLIN

The place? A city called Berlin. The plot follows the life of Sally Bowles, the main character in Cabaret. A young, wild American girl, who is played by none other than Liza Minnelli.

Look: if the daughter of the late great Judy Garland (a daughter who’s just as talented as her mother) is the lead in the Cabaret film version, it’s bound to be a hit. Not to mention that the cast includes acclaimed actors like Joel Grey, Marisa Berenson, Michael York, Helmut Griem and Fritz Wepper.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand. Sally Bowles moonlights as cabaret singer at the seedy Kit Kat Klub, a debauched nightclub infamous for throwing scandalous, sexually inhibited parties. The cabaret ensemble includes a posse of cabaret performers, the eccentric Master of Ceremonies, played by iconic American actor Joel Grey. Sally Bowles is living in a boarding house whilst she works at the Kit Kat club to make ends meet. Where are we going with this?

A NEW ROOMATE ARRIVES AT THE BOARDING HOUSE

Sally Bowles gets introduced to British academic Brian Roberts. A shy and introverted character, Brian Roberts (played by the iconic Michael York) arrives in Berlin to teach English whilst he completes his doctorate degree on the side. Despite his slightly timid nature (and being the total opposite of our loud protagonist), something about him takes Sally Bowles’ fancy. So the promiscuous cabaret singer sets her sights on Brian Roberts, and decides to seduce him.

But unfortunately for Sally, this does not pan out how the cabaret singer would’ve hoped. After Sally makes a move, Brian Roberts rejects her advances. At first, Sally is very dismayed. But Brian explains that he himself is the “problem”. Brian lets slip that he has tried to start sexual relations with women on 3 separate occasions, and each time they’ve gone horribly wrong. It alludes to Brian’s confusion about his sexuality, a touchy subject in early 20th century Europe.

FROM EMBARRASMENT TO FRIENDSHIP

After a teeny tiny bit of embarrassment, Sally quickly gets over it, and her and Brian start an intimate friendship instead.

Shortly after becoming fast friends, Sally introduces Brian to the weird and wonderful kit kat klub, and the hedonistic lifestyle that’s synonymous with Berlin’s Weiner Republic. Brian is fascinated by the kit kat club and Sally’s bohemian lifestyle. And wonders if he’ll ever have the guts to live as unapologetically as the young, wild cabaret singer does.

 

Sally’s Father, an affluent American businessman, is coming to Berlin to meet with her. Sally’s father has let her down a lot in the past, so she only gets her hopes up slightly, praying he won’t hit her with a last minute cancellation (like always). But when her Father cancels their meeting yet again, Sally is devastated. And as a good friend should, Brian Roberts gives her a shoulder to cry on. But unexpectedly, the pair share a tentative kiss instead (gasp!). Quickly after their surprise kiss, (and to each other’s great shock) the pair become lovers.

INTRODUCING MAXIMILIAN VON HEUNE

This pairing is going swimmingly. Until Maximilian Von Heune (played by the talented Helmut Griem) arrives on the scene.

He is handsome, charming and charismatic. A wealthy baron and certified playboy (despite being a married man), Maximilian Von Heune decides to befriend cabaret singer Sally almost immediately. And good old Sally Bowles happily obliges. Maximilian Von Heune invites Sally to join him at his opulent country estate outside of Berlin. Sally requests that she bring Brian Roberts along. So the pair head off to the countryside, completely unaware of the drama that lies ahead.

SPOILING A RELATIONSHIP…

Whilst the three of them relax at the humungous countryside mansion, Maximilian Von Heune begins courting (and spoiling) Brian and Sally.

And the audience see a love triangle plays out between the 3 people. Both get carried away by his intense displays of affection, and quickly fall under his spell. But let’s face it. When a handsome, successful, magnetic Baron decides to shower you with attention, it’s almost impossible not to get carried away. But as any good movie does, the plot thickens.

It seems everything is going well. Until, something happens between Max and Brian. After sharing a tender, enigmatic moment together, Max emotionally retreats. And almost as quickly as he went after them, Max the Baron drops the pursuit of Sally and Brian completely. It seems like a shock.

BUT YOU KNOW WHAT THEY SAY. THE FLAME THAT BURNS TWICE AS BRIGHT, LASTS HALF AS LONG.

Usually in situations like this, we see and feel the red flags of love-bombing. But for whatever reason, we ignore them, telling ourselves we’re overthinking it. Plus early 20th society didn’t even have a word for this. But sadly, in a tale as old as time, this love triangle plays out as so. And the story’s two main characters have indeed, been played.

The pair are left flabbergasted. And their respective frustrations spark a heated discussion. Sally and Brian start to argue. During the argument, Sally informs Brian that she has been having sexual relations with Maximilian Von Heune. And surprisingly, Brian reveals that he has been sleeping with him, too. Thankfully, it does not take long for our two favourite characters to reconcile, and Sally and Brian make up. Sally then reveals that Max the Baron left them 300 marks for their time – which is around the amount a customer would give a prostitute. Is that rude or is that rude?!

SALLY DISCOVERS THAT SHE IS PREGNANT

But as she was having relations with both men, she is unsure who fathered the child. In a bid to make her feel better, Brian offers to marry Sally and take her back to the UK and join him in Cambridge whilst he completes his University degree. At first, Sally gladly accepts. And the pair become excited at the possibility of a new life together. A life away from hedonistic, declining Berlin and the seedy kit kat klub. The start to celebrate. But this excitement quickly fades out when the pair have a picnic.

During their picnic lunch, Brian acts cold and distant towards Sally. Sally starts to visualise a her life as a bored housewife, becomes dispirited at their plans to move, and starts to rethink her decision. She doesn’t want to be a lonely faculty wife – she wants to sing. And be wild and free in Berlin’s Weimar republic. So Sally makes a tough decision. And chooses to get an abortion without Brian’s knowledge. Sally has no money for the illegal operation, and instead pawns her iconic fur coat as payment.

When Brian confronts her later on, Sally shares her secret. And the pair ultimately reach and understanding. Brian decides to return to the UK alone. And Sally? She stays in Berlin, submerging herself completely at the Kit kat klub.

THE SUB-PLOT

And like the plot of any good film, there’s an interesting sub-plot that steers the undercurrent of the film’s historical context. The sub-plot follows Fritz Wendel (played by Fritz Wepper), a German of Jewish descent that has been “passing” as a Protestant. Fritz Wendel is in love with a rich Jewish heiress Natalia Landauer (played by Marisa Berenson). But she holds Fritz Wendel in contempt, so he loves her from afar.

He is unsure of how to win Natalia over, and seeks Sally’s advice. Sally encourages Fritz to be more assertive. This eventually pays off, Natalia starts to takes Fritz seriously, and the pair fall in love. Even so, Fritz must divulge his ethnicity in order to get Natalia’s parents to consent to their marriage. Fritz confesses that he is in fact Jewish, and Natalia’s parents give their consent. Finally Marisa Berenson and Fritz Wepper’s characters get married by a Rabbi (hooray!).

Whilst the ballad of Sally, Brian and Max plays out, the film’s historical context remains an omnipresent theme within Cabaret. Fascism makes a slow (and scarily steady) rise in the Broadway revival, the progress of which is documented throughout the film. At the start of Cabaret, a Nazi is discovered inside the seedy Kit Kat club and gets subsequently thrown out. However, as Cabaret stars to draw to a close, the Kit kat club sees a Nazi party dominating the audience. And no one so much as bats and eye. In one of the final shots, a young blonde boy sings the iconic song “Tomorrow Belongs to Me” to the audience, a track that celebrates the beauty of youth and nature. Then it is revealed the boy is dressed in a Hitler Youth uniform. Suddenly “Tomorrow Belongs to Me” turns into an aggressive Nazi anthem. And one by one, audience members of all ages rise and join in with the singing.

CONCLUSION

So there you have it – a detailed breakdown of the storyline of Cabaret. With important historical context, exploration of pre-war Berlin, assortment of various complex emotions, (and of course a good old fashioned love triangle), the Bob Fosse masterpiece has all the ingredients to set Cabaret as one of the greatest films of all time. Sally may not know much, but she was right about one thing. Life is a cabaret, old chum.

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WHERE CAN I WATCH CABARET IN LONDON?

AH, GOOD OLD LONDON TOWN.

Anyone who hasn’t been spending their life living under a rock has heard all about this special city. It’s fast-paced. Diverse. Creative. Ambitious. But one thing about this place? If you can’t keep up, it’ll chew you up and spit you out.

With an intense aura akin to New York City, London is certainly not a town for the faint hearted (or the slow walkers). It’s a city for big-dreamers, go-getting entrepreneurs, theatre junkies, eclectic epicures, art-lovers, music maniacs and fashion forward folks. In other words – if you can make it London – you can make it anywhere.

Ranking third place on last year’s most-visited cities list, London welcomed a whopping 6.4 million visitors in 2022 alone.

Year after year, civilians in their millions flock to our nation’s capital to soak up the cracking cuisine, culture, rich history, and everything else it has to offer. And in its true London fashion, it shows no signs of slowing down.

As it goes, London is as rich in history as it is a popular tourist destination. Fun fact: London was originally named Londinium back when the Romans invaded in 43 AD! Another fun fact: London was the first city to have underground trains, with the first Central Line tube opening back in 1863! But enough of the fun facts. What we’re trying to say is: London sets trends – and the rest of the world follows.

And the capital of our little island continues to dominate worldwide. It’s one of the world capitals for fashion, finance, music and film, for example.

NOT ONLY THAT, IT’S THE BEATING HEART FOR ALL THINGS THEATRE.

From the most successful musicals at the mighty West End, to smaller-scale dramas, to avant-garde experimental shows, London’s theatre scene is well rounded to say the least. Whoever said New York City was the world’s art capital has clearly never been to a London theatre.

We know London is the epicentre for theatre. But it’s also the place for the most interesting, outrageous and hilarious type of theatre. What are we on about? We’re talking about cabaret! If you’re reading this, it is very likely that you’re not only aware of cabaret, but you’re (smartly) a huge fan of the delicious art form. That makes two of us!

But for all you cabaret novices, a cabaret is a type of theatrical entertainment bursting with music, song, dance, drama and comedy. And those familiar with the art form already know this undeniable fact. If you’re fancying a night at the cabaret, London is the place to be.

“But why?” you ask? Because London is where we are. “Who are you?” We are Proud Group – that’s who. We’re the trailblazers of all things cabaret in the UK. And if you happen to not recognise our name, we’re going to clue you in.

For almost two decades, we’ve been revitalizing Britain’s nightlife scene with our other-worldly cabaret experiences, reviving the timeless art form and getting Londoners as excited about cabarets as we are.

We push the boundaries of theatre, reinventing what an amazing cabaret means. And now we’re here to point you in the right direction as to where to watch a London cabaret. Let us show you that when it comes to cabaret in London – you go Proud or you go home.

Fancy copping some cabaret tickets for your next night out in London town? Proud’s got you taken care of. All you need to do? Check your schedule, call your friends and grab some of our cabaret tickets before the rest of London beats you to it!

WHEN BRITISH ENTREPRENEUR ALEX PROUD OPENED HIS FIRST CABARET VENUE IN CAMDEN, HE HAD A VISION

The vision? To revive the art form, make cabaret accessible for the masses, and offer mightily enjoyable entertainment that stands head and shoulders above a sea of nightlife competitors. Fast-forward to today. And not only have we met this goal, we’ve done a running jump and summersaulted over it. “How?” you ask? Let us paint you a word picture.

First things first. If a cabaret was a house, the show’s respective venue makes the foundations. And we all know what happens to a house with faulty foundations… Like the stellar production design you see in hit movies, a great cabaret venue sets the scene.

It distracts you from the outside world (like a good cabaret should), takes you out your head (in the best possible way) and helps you get completely immersed in the story at hand. The venue brings the story to life. And we at Proud are masters at this.

EXPERIENCE ELITE CABARET INSIDE OUR FLAGSHIP EMBANKMENT VENUE

WHERE WE GO ABOVE AND BEYOND TO GIVE YOU A CABARET EXPERIENCE THAT EXCEEDS YOUR WILDEST DREAMS

Our grand flagship venue sits smack bang in the middle of the world-famous Victoria Embankment, and boy, is it spectacular. The newly-renovated venue is complete with plush gold and black interiors, ambient mood lighting, state-of-the-art sound and lighting technology and a splash of quirky gold deco. If cabaret is your thing (which it should be, as you’re here reading this) just know that we’ve got all the ingredients to prove we’re London’s hottest ticket for theatrical cabaret experiences.

NO MATTER THE STORY, OUR EMBANKMENT VENUE IS THE PERFECT CANVAS FOR A CABARET

Over the years, our stunning Embankment venue has served as the sumptuous backdrop to a diverse array of spectacular shows. From celebrating the wonders of Indian culture with Mumbai Masala, to our West End musical revival of Steven Spielberg’s smash hit West Side Cabaret Story, we seamlessly shapeshift between theme, story and genre to deliver captivating vaudeville theatre that’s so good you’ll want to shout from the rooftops about it. Sometimes they’re romantic, other times they’re funny – but one thing about Proud? It’s always a hell of a show.

No matter the cabaret vessel, we give our guests a bewitching and dramatic cabaret experience that puts other joints like the The Kit Kat club at The Playhouse theatre to utter shame. But don’t just take out word for it. Come on down to Embankment and see for yourself! Before you know it, you’ll be calling your friends practically begging them to come and witness the cabaret magic for themselves.

SPEAKING OF MAGIC, WE’RE COOKING UP SOME REALLY AWESOME SHOWS IN OUR CABARET CAULDRON.

Because we’re feeling generous, we’ll give you a little taster. We’ve been making some serious waves on the West End for being the best musical revival of Steven Spielberg’s seminal classic, West Side Story. The cabaret show that’s been met with a mass of critical acclaim. And now we’re about to kick it up a notch with our upcoming Dirty Dancer cabaret.

Most everybody has seen (or at least heard of) Emile Ardolino’s 1987 classic musical, Dirty Dancing, the smash movie telling the forbidden love story of Baby and Johnny during a summer at the Catskills. But no-one has seen a take on Dirty Dancing quite like ours. What sets Proud above everyone else’s take on the film version, you ask?

FOR STARTERS, HAVE YOU EVER SEEN A BEWITCHING RENDITION OF “MY BABY” WITH AERIAL ARTISTRY, FIRE-BREATHING AND JAW-DROPPING ACROBATICS?

Or an elite music setlist mixing the classic Dirty Dancing tracks and hit songs from the 1980’s? Or set and costume design so flamboyant you’ll struggle to keep your jaw from dropping to the floor? What about dancing so sensual it makes the original film version of Dirty Dancing look plain vanilla?

We didn’t think so. We’ve selected the best circus and burlesque artistes from all over the world and created a cabaret dream team that other cabaret clubs couldn’t compare to even if they tried. Move over, cabaret at the Kit Kat!

AND HOW COULD WE FORGET ABOUT EMBANKMENT’S NAUGHTY LITTLE SISTER, PROUD CITY?

Proud City opened in 2009 after the sheer popularity of Proud Embankment got almost too much for even us to contain. The people of London needed more Proud Cabaret, and who are we to deny the people what they want? And thus, Proud City was born. And it’s been making noise in the London nightlife scene ever since.

An intimate, low-ceilinged, dark and opulent space, our Proud City pays homage to the prohibition days by being decorated in the style of a 1920’s speakeasy. See what we mean when we say we know how to set a scene?

JUST LIKE OUR FLAGSHIP EMBANKMENT VENUE, PROUD CITY IS FAMED AROUND THESE PARTS

We throw naughty, flaunty and mightily entertaining shows that drop jaws, induce “wows” and get you up and dancing before you can say “cabaret”.This cosy venue is a great joint for a date, a hen-do, stag night, work party, or any other special occasion you like. Scratch that. Do you even need a special occasion to warrant a night at Proud Cabaret? The short answer? Absolutely not! Proud City hosts a range of other shows, including the positively hilarious ‘Now That’s What I Call Bingo‘ that will leave your sides split from laughter, belly full of cocktails and food and head full of tunes you’d forgotten you used to love.

Experience cabaret in its highest quality at Proud City – where the music’s pumping, the drinks are free-flowing, the performances are wowing, the audience are cackling, and the jaws are dropping. Take our Drag Bingo show, for example. Who said bingo was just for the golden oldies? Not us!

Throw in some free-flowing cocktails, head-banging tunes, stomach-aching banter and you’ve got yourself an hilarious afternoon so funny, you’ll be laughing the whole train ride home. We at Proud Group are known for pushing the envelope when it comes to putting on a show, and Drag Bingo is no different.

WATCH THE UK’S BEST DRAG QUEENS COME TOGETHER IN OUR FABULOUS CAST AND SERVE SOME SCANDALOUS HILARITY THAT’S SASSY WITH A CAPITAL “S”.

If only old Mama Ru Paul could see how amazingly sassy our show is, she’d be wiping away tears of laughter. Make sure to stretch and warm up your vocal chords, because you’ll be singing and dancing until London bridge falls down. The only thing we ask of you? You better dress to impress, because if you’re not dressed to slay – our Queens will make you sashay away.

CONCLUSION

Now we’ve reached the end of this blog, you should be in-the-know about where to buy your cabaret tickets in London. And we’ve made it abundantly clear – when it concerns cabarets in London – it’s Proud or bust.

Life is a cabaret, old chum. And no-one cabarets like Proud Group. We’ll meet you at the next show.

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WHAT IS THE STRUCTURE OF A CABARET?

Theatre is one of the world’s most important forms of expression and entertainment. And one of the oldest, too. Originating in 6th Century B.C, theatre made its roots in Ancient Greece and has since remained a keystone in societal entertainment. Theatre in itself takes many forms. From tragedies to pantomimes, romantic comedies to satires, each style examines a different side of the human condition. In other words, the face of theatre is ever-changing. And how could we talk about the changing face of theatre without exploring its most multidimensional form? That’s right – we’re talking about the art of cabaret.

For those who don’t know, cabarets are interactive theatrical experiences that comprise music, dance and comedy. Fun fact: the first recorded cabaret “Le Chat Noir” took place in Paris’ bohemian neighbourhood Montmartre way back in 1881! Another fun fact: by the year 1900, Parisians had produced more than 150 cabarets, including the world-famous Le Moulin Rouge. Since the late 19th century, cabarets have grown in popularity and spread to all 4 corners of this wonderful world. But enough about Paris. Today, London is the epicentre for all things cabaret. “Why is this?” you ask. Because London is where the Proud Group is. If you’re a cabaret enthusiast, you’d know that Proud Group is the mackdaddy of cabaret clubs. And if you’re a cabaret novice, we’re here to show you what cabarets are, how they’re structured, and why Proud Group does cabaret in a way no one else can.

THE HISTORY OF CABARET

Like we touched on before, cabaret started in late 19th century Paris. Despite being originally created for the upper classes’ enjoyment, cabaret spread to the working class and quickly became accessible to all (now that’s what we like to hear). In the 1920’s and 1930’s when Berlin, New York and London started throwing cabarets, the art form skyrocketed in popularity. This period is widely coined by theatre historians as “The Golden Age” of cabaret. But as far as we’re concerned, we’d say cabaret’s golden age started when Proud Group opened its first venue in Camden. In other words, we’re witnessing “The Golden Age” of cabaret right now. But this is not a history lesson, after all. So sit back, relax, and let us at Proud guide you on how a cabaret is structured.

MODERN CABARET

First off, let’s determine how cabarets differ from your average play. Whilst plays typically follow a strict plotline and contextualise important societal issues, cabarets offer show-goers a break from the real world with a variety of singing, dancing and comedy acts. In short, it’s designed to transport you out of your head and into the moment. And whilst plays have been held in grand spaces, cabarets started out in smaller, intimate venues like bars and restaurants. Although this is not necessarily the case today, we at Proud pay homage to cabaret’s intimate beginnings with our flagship venue in Embankment. With mood lighting, plush seating booths and charming interior design, when it comes to cabaret – we know just what to do to set the scene. Now, back to the topic at hand – how is a cabaret structured?

We’d be silly not to give you a step-by-step of how we do it at Proud. One springs to mind: our Christmas Cabaret at our Embankment venue, which is composed of 3 acts. Our whimsical host starts with a mash-up medley of your favourite Christmas tracks, followed by a short introduction on what the show will entail. We open the show with a performance from leading burlesque artiste Channelle Du Mai, who in her truthfulness to the art form, leaves next to nothing for the imagination. We hold nothing back – but start as you mean to go on, they say! Before you’ve had time to pick your jaw up off the floor, you’re watching the Seifert Sisters aerial hoop around like there’s no tomorrow. Act I closes with a tear-jerking tango version of Noughties hit “Cry Me A River” and some mesmerising performances involving magic and fire theatrics. Now that’s something you won’t see everyday!

Keeping that high energy, Act II commences with a dance performance from world-famous  showgirl, J’adore La Vie, and another burlesque performance from Chanelle Du Mai. While you’re trying (and failing) to take your eyes off our saucy dancers, Shade & Lydia storm the stage with feisty fire theatrics. And before you know it you’re thinking: “How do they do that?!”. A cabaret wouldn’t be a cabaret without paying homage to pop culture. Our impeccable dancers honour the 2000’s hit film Mean Girls with a hilarious take on the movie’s iconic Jingle Bell Rock dance. See – we’re not messing when we say a good cabaret is variety. After a short break, we welcome in Act III with a silk performance from the wildly talented DUO Fashion. The pair slip, slide and glide along those silks in a way that makes it look easy. We treat the audience with other performances from J’adore La Vie and a raunchy pole performance from the Seifert Sisters and pole artist Emily Winters. Talk about a treat for the eyes! Proud concludes the show in the true cabaret style: with a sing, a dance and a chance for the audience to boogie with the cast on stage. Talk about variety!

CONCLUSION

Thanks to us, you should be clued in as to what a cabaret is and how cabarets are structured. But let’s do a little recap just in case. A cabaret is a form of interactive theatrical entertainment that has spanned centuries and cities. Although it has evolved over time, the show’s core elements of dance, drama, music and comedy remain at the forefront of a modern cabaret show.    It’s clear to see that variety is what sets cabarets apart from other styles of theatre. No matter the theme, a cabaret show is sure to provide a unique and entertaining experience. And when it concerns cabaret, no one puts on a show like Proud does.

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What Happens at a Cabaret?

If we know anything about humankind, it’s this: we have an intrinsic need to be entertained. From amphitheatre plays in 6th century B.C, to Shakespeare’s Globe theatre opening in 1599, to sold-out shows in today’s modern Broadway scene – theatre has been around almost as long as we have. And who could discuss theatre without mentioning one of its oldest and most important art forms? Cabaret – of course.

“What is a cabaret?” you ask? A translation of “nightclub” cabaret is a theatrical form of entertainment that typically features a mix of music, song, dance and drama. The first recorded cabaret took place in late 1880’s France. Since that fateful night, cabaret has remained a cornerstone in popular entertainment. And there’s a cabaret out there for every mood. Or occasion. Or feeling. Fancy a laugh? Or a good cry? How about a singlong to your favourite tunes? Or a naughty, saucy take on one of the world’s best movies? What we’re trying to say is that there’s many reasons you’d attend a cabaret. And many occasions that warrant going to one. Whether for a date, a loved one’s birthday, an impromptu night out or those infamous hen and stag do’s (to name a few), there’s plenty of reasons why you’d want to attend a cabaret. Then again – do we even need a reason to watch a cabaret?

But we know what you’re thinking. Why do we know so much about cabarets? Because we’re Proud Group: the UK’s leading light for bespoke cabaret experiences. For almost 2 decades Proud has taken the country’s nightlife scene by storm. With mesmerising performances, scrumptious food, and delicious drinks set to a sumptuous backdrop, Proud is widely known as one of the leaders for decadent, different and daring nights out in the UK. With venues in Embankment, East London and Brighton, it’s safe to say Proud knows a thing or two about what makes a fantastic cabaret. That’s why we’re here to educate you on what a cabaret is, and why you need to book one immediately.

WHAT DOES A CABARET INVOLVE?


First things first – what does a cabaret involve? If a musical and a concert had a love child, it’d birth a cabaret. Like we mentioned before, a traditional cabaret is a musical mix of singing and dancing. But we’re here to make a song and dance about why cabaret is more than **just** song and dance. Especially the cabarets we throw down at Proud. We take the best bits from the different activities the nightlife scene has to offer and fuse them together to create a sensory feast. What do we mean? Have you been torn between going to dinner or watching a movie? How about being stuck between a karaoke eve versus a night of dancing in a buzzing club? Cabarets mix these pastimes to create one glorious evening so you won’t have to miss out on anything. Goodbye FOMO!

A truly immersive experience, cabarets cater for everything you’d need on a night out. Gorgeous food. Dangerously delicious drinks. Unique entertrainment. Banterous conversation. Head-bobbing music. Dancing and almost always some outrageous comedy. Can you think of anywhere else where you can get all this in its highest quality? Neither can we. In its true shape-shifting style, cabarets can morph into almost anything you like. Fancy a night of celebrating Indian culture? Or an evening jam-packed with your favourite 80’s tracks? From hosting themed nights featuring cuisine from all round the world, to banter-filled drag brunches, to putting a fresh spin on a cinematic classic, cabarets ascend the realm of **just** song and dance.

WHAT MIGHT A CABARET LOOK LIKE?


If you’ve been paying attention, you’d know by now that a cabaret can look like almost anything. You could have a cabaret themed entirely around your favourite film, for example. If this is what you’re looking for, we’ve got just the ticket. And it just so happens that we are hosting a cabaret that fits this exact bill. Proud Group is bringing the silver screen to our fantastic Embankment venue with our West Side Cabaret Story, the brand-new show that is setting London’s West End on fire. If you haven’t been living under a rock, you’d know that West Side Story is the 1961 musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s seminal play, Romeo & Juliet. But what if we told you that Proud has reimagined West Side Story in a way that goes beyond your wildest dreams?

WHAT HAPPENS ON THE NIGHT?

 

“How?” you ask. With acrobats, aerialists, and fire-breathers – that’s how. Who knew you could be on the edge of your seat watching fire theatrics as Tony croons to “I Met A Girl Named Maria”? Or have your pick of bottomless drinks whilst gazing at acrobats glide around all at once? Or dance around with the Sharks and the Jets with a bellyful of gourmet food? You can’t really – unless you go to Proud Embankment. I know, I know. How can you get tickets for this other-wordly show that reimagines West Side Story in a way not done before? It’s easy. Check out Proud’s Box Office on our website and see for yourself. Here you can plan your night from start to finish. Select your seats, choose your meal and drinks package and then sit back and start to get excited for the show. The only drawback? Tickets sell quicker than you can say cabaret, so you better get on it.

WHAT ELSE DOES A CABARET INVOLVE?

But like we mentioned, a cabaret takes many forms. How about a night showcasing the best burlesques acts the world has to offer? Proud has you covered with our new Badly Behaved Burlesque show at Proud City. Just like it says on the tin, Badly Behaved Burlesque combines the world’s leading burlesque artists to create risque performances involving dripping hot wax play, fire theatrics and of course – bodacious burlesque. Clearly worlds apart from our West Side Cabaret Story, Proud encapsulates what it means to deliver a deliciously different and unforgettable cabaret for every Tom, Dick and Harry.

As you know, we’ve covered a few important things. One: what a cabaret is. Two: what a cabaret involves and why you should consider attending one (although you don’t always need a reason). And three: who does cabaret best. So if you’re talking premier cabaret experiences, you’d be silly if Proud wasn’t the first name out your mouth. In short, Proud does cabaret like no one else and we’ve got a show to suit everybody. But we hear you. You want to see it for yourself. Fortunately for you, it’s very easy to cop some tickets. Just head to our website and follow this link to check out our “What’s On” page so you can pick the cabaret show that fits perfectly with you. We’ve also written another handy blogif you want some variety.

You know what they say, life is a cabaret. And no one does cabaret like Proud. So what are you waiting for? Happy cabaret-ing folks!

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IS BRIGHTON GOOD FOR A NIGHT OUT?

Brighton is a city nestled on the South East coastline. Located an hour’s train ride from London, Brighton is widely considered as one of the UK’s coolest places. Fun fact: Brighton hosted the 1974 Eurovision which saw a little-known band called ABBA win and become skyrocketed to worldwide fame! Another fun fact: its bohemian vibe has attracted many artists over the years, the likes of Paul McCartney, Fat Boy Slim and Noel Gallagher all lived in Brighton at one point. But enough fun facts. Let us paint you a Brighton word picture.

The picturesque pavilion, the winding, cobbled streets, the abundance of rooftop cafes and quaint little vintage shops. And its pièce de résistance: gorgeous stony beaches set to a backdrop of cliffs where rainbow-coloured homes dot the idyllic coastline. Gorgeous right?

So we’ve established that Brighton is as cool as it is pretty. But is Brighton good for a night out too? Fortunately for you, Brighton isn’t good for a night out. It’s great for a night out. Look: a city that’s world-famous for its annual Pride parade is bound to have a great nightlife scene too. And being a University town its naturally buzzing. Not to mention its home to The Great Escape, an annual music festival that celebrates up-and-coming artists across the UK.

So couple all this with its eclectic mix of bars and restaurants and it’s no wonder that Brighton is a popular destination for a UK night out. Don’t believe us? We’re here to give you the 4-1-1 on why you should try a Brighton night out. Considering a night out in Brighton? By the end of this blog we’ll have you convinced.

THE ATMOSPHERE


To start with, Brighton’s got a great atmosphere. The city is full of life, pulsating with energy. Getting lost whilst strolling through the iconic Brighton Lanes makes you feel like you’re in a movie (cue swelling cinematic soundtrack). An afternoon picnic by King George’s Pavilion and you’ll feel transported back in time.

Watching the beautiful sun-set on the famed pebbled beach is the definition of la dolce vita. We’re not fibbing when we say simply walking around Brighton makes you feel some type of way. Vibes don’t lie, after all.

THE VARIETY

So we know Brighton brings the vibes. But what about its nightlife scene? Eclectic to say the least. Whether you’re fancying a cosy pub, a boujee bar, a romantic date or an all night dance-session at a buzzing club, Brighton’s nightlife has something to please everyone. Take The Walrus for example, a 3 storey pub designed as a Victorian haunted house and covered with spooky antiquities. Or Ink, the ex-tattoo studio turned quirky basement bar that serves cocktails so delicious they’ll go down like water. Or Plateau, a luxurious wine bar by The Pavilion that’s ideal for a date night.

But wait. How could we possibly chat about nights out in Brighton without mentioning Proud Cabaret Brighton? Brighton’s instalment of Proud is the newest addition to our family. And boy does it bring it in terms of a night out. Located in cool Kemptown, the little gem has quickly made a lot of noise in the city and has swiftly become a contender for the best night out in Brighton. “Why is that?” you ask? We’ll clue you in. Proud Brighton brings something different to the table by offering a raunchy cabaret extravaganza every week.

Fancy some delicious food whilst you watch one of our raucous, banter-filled shows? How about an afternoon of bottomless brunching whilst you laugh your socks off with our favourite Drag Queens? Or catching some of the world’s biggest burlesque and cabaret stars at our dazzling “Cabaret All Stars” show? Pardon the pun, but Proud takes great Pride in our Brighton venue.

Look, we may be a little biassed. But we can’t help it if Proud Cabaret happens to be one of the best places for a night out in Brighton. It just is. But don’t just take our word for it, check out our “What’s On” page on our website to book a night out in Brighton for yourself. You’ll thank us later.

THE PEOPLE


It’s no secret that Brighton has a reputation for being home to some of the UK’s friendliest and welcoming people. Crazy what an extra bit of sun does to people, right?! Not to mention it’s wonderfully multi-cultural. Brighton pays homage to its diverse population by offering an array of international eateries. Sample some North African cuisine at A Taste of Sahara. Or try Lazy Fin, a lovely little Mexican joint. And with its huge selection of vegan restaurants, Brighton is one of the best places to live if you’re a plant-based honey. Check out The Roundhill or Smorl’s Kitchen, for example. You won’t be disappointed. Like we said, its welcoming population means you’re bound to meet some interesting folks on your Brighton night out. Whether you’re looking to strike up a quick conversation at the bar, or an all-night dance partner, you’ll find someone to keep you company in Brighton.

THE COST


If you’ve been paying attention, you know it’s been established that Brighton is great for a night out. And the icing on the cake? Brighton is an affordable night out, too. The average pint is priced at £4.50 compared to London’s almost silly £5.99. Trust us – that £1.49 makes a world of difference on your night out. Tourists can also grab an Air B’n’B starting at just £70 a night. Not a bad price for a husting, bustling city, hey? Speaking of value for money, Proud Cabaret Brighton throws in a show, a delicious 3 course meal and drinks for just £70 each. Three amazing night-out experiences for the price of one? You can count us in! We’ll meet you there.

Variety. Budget-friendly. Beautiful multiculturalism. Top-notch vibes. It’s undeniable that all these things combined make Brighton an excellent destination for a night out in the UK. So if you’re looking for a great night out, why not give Brighton a try? What are you waiting for? Book your night out in Brighton now. You’ll thank us later.

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TOP 50 BEST BOTTOMLESS BRUNCH IN LONDON 2023

When asked to name famous cities, you’d be living under a rock if London wasn’t one of the first places you listed. London is an iconic city known for many things. Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Beefeaters – and now brunch.

In recent years, bottomless brunch has exploded in popularity in London and can be found in all 4 corners of this wonderful city. Whether you’re wanting a quiet(ish) tipsy afternoon nattering with a friend or an excuse to dance on tables in the middle of the day, bottomless brunch is a great way to get together. And a bottomless brunch in the beautiful city of London? Even better.

And in its true London style, it’s got a bottomless brunch to suit everybody. But London is vast, so finding the best bottomless brunch for you and your friends in London can be tricky. Especially when there’s a ginormous array of cultures and cuisines to choose from: it’s more than just eggs folks!

That’s why we’ve done our due diligence and found the Top 50 spots for London’s best bottomless brunches 2023 so you don’t have to. Brunch plans in London this weekend? Consider them sorted.

  1. PROUD CITY DRAG BINGO

Look – we’d be silly not kick off our top 50 bottomless brunch list without shouting out one of our own. For brunch deals London look no further than our very own Proud City venue, which hosts a hilarious drag musical bingo and bottomless brunch on the weekends that is simply unmissable.

Devour our exquisite 2 course brunch with a bottomless supply of our delicious house cocktails. Roar with laughter as our feistiest Queens play musical bingo and deliver side-splitting banter that’ll make you cackle like RuPaul. But hurry, tickets for our drag brunch sells faster than you can say slay! For a bottomless birthday brunch in london, this is a truly histerical one!

  1. BAD EGG

If you’re in London and love eggs, you’ve got to go to Bad Egg. Don’t worry about the name, though – its bottomless brunch is as good as its name is ironic. A 20 minute tube from Canary Wharf, Bad Egg is an eclectic American-style diner.

Its bottomless brunch has unlimited bloody Mary’s, free flowing prosecco and mimosas for £39 per person. This bottomless brunch has time slots of two hours every Saturday and Sunday. Whether you’re feeling a cheeky afternoon drink with your poached eggs or need hangover relief through some hair of the dog, Bad Egg’s bottomless brunch will sort you out.

  1. JUNGLE QUEEN BRUNCH AT PROUD EMBANKMENT

Are we going in with another one of our own? Yes we are. But does it happen to be one of the best bottomless brunches in London? Yes it does.

A wonderfully entertaining bottomless brunch near leicester square, this show runs every Saturday at Proud Embankment which hosts a party brunch where you can spend 3 hilarious hours eating and drinking to your heart’s content for just £49. This is a drag brunch people, so be careful not to choke on your delicious food mid-cackle!

Despite this being a London-based blog, we can’t ignore our sister venue in Brighton. For a night by the coast, check out our Drag Brunch Extravaganza!

The really is the best fun bottomless brunch London has to offer so don’t hesitate to get tickets while they are still available.

  1. CITY CRUISES

We know what you’re thinking. This isn’t brunch? Oh, but it is. As of April this year, London-based tour company City Cruises have launched a site-seeing bottomless brunch package. From £39 guests can depart from Tower Pier and enjoy two hours of bottomless prosecco.

Devour poached eggs as you float by iconic sites like the Tower of London, the London Eye and The Shard. And there’s an on-board DJ! This party brunch is definitely a big contender for the best bottomless brunch in London town!

  1. BOURNE & HOLLINGSWORTH BUILDINGS

Bourne & Hollingsworth offers a classic bottomless brunch menu if you’re around East London. For £37, guests can enjoy their weekend brunch with two courses of smoothie bowls, pancakes, avocado on toast and hashbrowns, along with as many free-flowing Bloody Marys as you like.

Look:  classics are classic for a reason. And if you’re looking for brunch in London, won’t a sun-soaked conservatory with lots of plants and yummy food do just that?

  1. DOUBLE STANDARD

When the ultra-cool Standard Hotel opened in LA, it was a stomping ground for cool LA scenesters and partygoers. So when the Double Standard opened in King’s Cross London, it was assumed its sister venue would also be very cool.

And in this case, you can assume correctly. The 70’s themed dive bar is 30 minutes from Canary Wharf and hosts bottomless brunch on Sundays. In their two hour window guests can guzzle unlimited American banana pancakes, or try their famed brunch burger with Bloody Mary ketchup for that extra kick!

  1. SUMOSAN TWIGA BRUNCH

Sumosan Twiga is in Kensington and is one of the area’s most popular bottomless brunch spots. Sumosan Twiga celebrates the best bits of Italian and Japanese culture by offering their famed fusion menu for Londoners. Fancy a Maki Roll Selection to go with your Ricotta Tortellini anyone?

On Saturdays between 12pm-4pm, guests can drink bottomless cocktails whilst sampling their diverse menu. Or as Miley Cyrus puts it: “you get the best of both worlds”. It’s a party brunch. From saucy sax solos, to carefully curated DJ sets to keep the vibes high, their bottomless brunch is immaculate. Their brunch menu is £150 per person. Pricey, we know. But their bottomless brunch is certainly no ordinary brunch experience.

  1. FLIGHT CLUB LONDON

Flight Club took darts, revamped it and peddled it to the young masses. If this wasn’t awesome enough, Flight Club is now doing bottomless brunch. Travel 20 minutes from Canary Wharf for bottomless brunch with bottomless bubbles, washed down with unlimited delicious pizza for all you pizza pilgrims.

Now you can guzzle on a gorgeous pepperoni slice with one hand whilst hitting that bullseye with the other.

Pricing starts at £30 per person and is perfect if you love pizza, bottomless bubbles and good vibes. They’ve got multiple London venues so you pizza pilgrims can’t miss them!

  1. THE RUM KITCHEN

Are you in London and got a craving for hip hop, rum punch and boozy brunch? The Rum Kitchen is the place to be if you’re hankering for authentic Caribbean cuisine. Located in the heart of Carnaby Street and just half an hour away from Canary Wharf, The Rum Kitchen offers bottomless brunch along with Happy Hour on their entire cocktail menu everyday until 7pm!

We recommend their jerk BBQ wings washed down with their refreshing Jamrock Punch cocktail. The Rum Kitchen is perfect if you want a taste of the Caribbean without leaving London.

  1. EL PIRATA

Hola tapas enthusiasts! Run, don’t walk, to El Pirata. El Pirata is a luxurious restaurant  located in Mayfair that celebrates the best of Spanish cuisine with their bottomless brunch. It’s making some serious waves in London.A 25 minute tube from Canary Wharf, their delectable brunch menu includes all the classic Spanish favourites and comes with bottomless Sangria.

Snack on padron peppers and chilli prawns whilst you drink until you need a siesta. In short, bottomless brunch spots better watch out for El Pirata.

  1. BALANS NO. 60 LONDON

Self-described as an “all-day, all-night brasserie”, Balans No. 60 is a lively spot half an hour away from Canary Wharf. It’s famous in London and they serve a classic brunch menu of poached egg and eggs benedict. And their cocktail club runs all day.

That’s right, bottomless cocktails for all. Its buzzing atmosphere and penchant for serving guests until 5am makes it an important name when it comes to the best bottomless brunches in London! This is indeed a party brunch!

  1. YUM-SA BOTTOMLESS BRUNCH

When it comes to bottomless brunch, Yum-Sa Thai restaurant exceeds the definition of going above and beyond. They offer not tow, not three, but a whopping 7 brunch tasting menu for their lucky guests!

Torn between sticky tamarind rubbed chicken and red curry steamed sea bass? Don’t worry you can have both – or all! If you’re in London, Yum-Sa isn’t one to be missed!

  1. FLESH & BUNS LONDON

Flesh & Buns’ is as tasty as their name is punny. Starting at £39 per person, guests can get some hangover solace with their famous Bao Buns.

And they offer unlimited prosecco, white and red wine. A.K.A – as much hair of the dog you can stomach! It’s an unconventional but strong choice when it comes to London’s best bottomless brunch.

  1. ETKE NORDIC KITCHEN

If you’re fancying brunch in London but looking for something different, come sample some Nordic cuisine at Etke on Bloomberg Arcade.Indulge in a three course Nordic themed menu that fuses together the best bits from Scandinavian cuisine every Saturday until 9pm.

Their uncommon yet delightful menu includes the likes of authentic smørrebrød, kroppkakor and girolles and sage butter. Not sure what these are? Visit Etke and try for yourself!

  1. ALL BAR ONE

We’d be silly not to mention one of these old reliables – All Bar One. The Bishop’s Arcade branch of this well-loved chain serves eggs benedict, a full breakfast or a handmade beef burger.

Three simple yet very effective dishes. When it concerns bottomless brunch, All Bar One definitely fits the bill.

  1. LANTANA SHOREDITCH

Lantana is making some noise in the East London brunch scene. The party brunch boasts bottomless prosecco, mimosas and coffee with any brunch item for £30 per person. Or they offer unlimited coffee and juices with a brunch item for you non-drinkers.

Their unconventional menu explores the lesser-explored stylings of Australian cuisine and brings that relaxed “down-under” mentality to busy London.

For brunch they offer roasted confit duck, sweet potato and smashed avocado any which way you can imagine.

And talking of smashed, guests can choose between unlimited prosecco or free-flowing mimosas! So if you’re in East London check out Lantana Shoreditches’ bottomless brunch.

  1. SLUG & LETTUCE

Here’s another reliable London source for the sauce – Slug & Lettuce. Their fun & cheap bottomless brunch London never disappoints.

For their pre-booked brunch in West London, Slug & Lettuce boasts two hours of free-flowing cocktails (including their famous Aperol Spritz). But go for their Pornstar Martini with their 5 stack American pancakes we say. Classic brunch! And you can pay a small extra charge for bottomless champagne.

  1. LE BAB

For all you Londoners searching for a budget-friendly bottomless brunch, Le Bab is here to answer your brunch prayers. It’s found half an hour away from Canary Wharf and for £20 per person, guests can enjoy two hours of bottomless drinks and chug as many unlimited proseccos they can take.

A fab spot for weekend brunch!Their Covent Garden branch Maison Bab offers bottomless brunch, too.

Their pièce de résistance is The Le Bab Kebab, perfected by its Michelin-star trained chefs. Cooked on a charcoal and wood-fired robata, their delicious brunch is yummy to say the least.

  1. THE BOSPORUS UK – TURKISH BOTTOMLESS BRUNCH

If you’ve been paying attention, you’d notice that we’re not only chatting about the English take on brunch. Think again!

The brunch scene in London is just as multicultural as the city itself. Speaking of, Turkish restaurant The Bosporus UK has a bottomless brunch deal for every day of the week.

That’s right, everyday from 11am-4pm, you can enjoy their bottomless brunch of unlimited prosecco, beer or mocktails.

Pair this with their traditional Turkish cuisine menu and it is simply delicious. Guests can enjoy gorgeous food and bottomless drinks for just £35 per person.

  1. PACHAMAMA

One thing about London – it’s got an abundance of grey skies. So head down to Pachamama to inject some colour into your life. The pretty Peruvian spot hosts a boozy bottomless brunch on weekends.

Their mid-afternoon feast of picturesque plates pairs wonderfully with bottomless prosecco. The fried aubergine and their steam bream tiradito is their elite dish, we say!

But who could forget their signature brunch waffles? A beautiful waffly concoction where you can choose from toppings of peanut butter, grilled plantain or Peruvian chocolate.

So guzzle some gorgeous waffles and down unlimited prosecco while you jam to bachata beats. What could be better?

  1. JACK AND BEYOND

Funky Fulham is bringing some brunch madness at Jack and Beyond. Situated on Fulham Road, Jack and Beyond have 2 awesome bottomless brunch offers.

Guests can revel in 90 minutes of bottomless prosecco, beer or white wine – plus a free cake and 4 empanadas of your choice! We recommend the pumpkin & goats cheese for all you empanada enthusiasts.

Jack and Beyond are also awfully considerate for those folks with a sweet tooth. They offer the bottomless cake and fizz package if savoury snacks aren’t your thing.

  1. AQUA SHARD

London Bridge road is taking your favourite pastime to new heights by offering brunch sessions in the Aqua Shard. Brunch in Europe’s tallest building?

That’s one for the books! Brunch is available between 10:30am-3:30pm. You can choose between a 3 course experience or brunch with wine pairing of your choice.

They’ve got a classic menu with sauteed potatoes, black pudding and toasted sourdough. Traditional and delightful!

  1. QUAGLINO’S

Quaglino’s is one of London’s oldest and swankiest venues. It was founded in 1929 – so if Quaglino’s walls could talk, you’d be listening for days. Famed for hosting luxurious celebrity bashes, Quaglino’s now offers a  boozy brunch deal on the weekends.

Their delicious “Q Brunch” includes unlimited prosecco with your meal when eating two courses or more starting at £25 extra per person.

Roast loch salmon and wild mushroom linguine with a side of bottomless bubbles? How about french toast and eggs any which way you like?

  1. AVIARY ROOFTOP RESTAURANT AND TERRACE BAR

Want to explore alternative date night ideas? How about dinner in a rooftop igloo?

London has some of the world’s coolest bottomless brunches and Aviary is no exception. Located 20 minutes from Canary Wharf, Aviary holds their bottomless brunch every weekday from 11am to 4pm.

You can get bottomless Amstels, Heinekens, proseccos or a wine of your choice when you order 2 of their mouth-watering courses. Their diverse menu has something for everyone and includes smoked salmon and haddock fishcakes.

Not to mention that you can change it up to bottomless bubbles if you’re feeling extra boujee. Bottomless brunch and a rooftop igloo? Consider us sold!

  1. RED FARM

This one is for all those who live the luxe life. Red Farm rose to social media fame after the internet got wind of its quirky fusion menu and Instagrammable venue. And now they’re offering bottomless brunch!

Every Sunday between 1-6pm, guests can guzzle bottomless cocktails, champagne and unlimited dim sum for £60.

Their quirky creations (like the cheeseburger spring rolls) pair wonderfully with that never-ending house wine. You’ll leave Red Farm happily half cut with some awesome snaps for the ‘gram.

  1. THE PERCEPTION BAR

The world-renowned W Hotel is upping its already strong hospitality game with a boujee bottomless brunch at The Perception Bar.

Located in Leicester Square, guests can overlook the hustle and bustle of central London whilst they chow down on bottomless brunch.

Enjoy 90 minutes of bottomless brunch that includes a choice of main and a dip into their desert section. Fancy upping the anti?

For a small extra payment guests can also get bottomless Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label.

  1. SNACKBAR

One of the more sensitive topics in the brunch world: who does brunch better – Brits or Americans? Can’t decide? Well after eating at Snackbar you might say the latter.

Their flaky buttermilk biscuits and butter cakes melt in your mouth.

And their free-flowing drinks go down like water. For £35 a head guests can enjoy their American/Mexican fusion brunch with as many glasses of rhubarb fizzes as they can take in 90 minutes.

  1. DIRTY BONES

Like Red Farm, Dirty Bones is bringing the spirit of New York City to London with their boozy brunch menu.  

Specialisig in cocktails and comfort food, mix’n’match between their unlimited drinks list with the purchase of any main meal. Eat marvellous steak & eggs whilst you sip their refreshing pink grapefruit mimosas.

Which are bottomless might we add! Their boozy brunch is available Saturdays and Sundays between 12pm-3:30pm.

  1. TEMPER COVENT GARDEN

Temper is a cool barbeque joint in Covent Garden. And it’s only a short drive to Canary Wharf. Furnished with a massive open kitchen, guests can watch with glee as Chefs whack humongous chunks of premium meat onto charcoal fires.

Their boozy brunch is priced at £39.50 per head and includes bottomless cocktails and wine along with a barbecue brunch platter. Eat and drink to your heart’s content whilst you gaze as the chefs perfect their signature “blow-torched” mackerel.

  1. MA PETITE JAMAICA CAMDEN

Ma Petite is a must-go if you’re into Jamaican food and street food. Celebrated as one of London’s first Caribbean diners, it’s found in the heart of Camden. Their genuine Jamaican dishes and tropical interior make you forget you’re in London quicker than you can say Bob Marley.

In their bottomless brunch package, guests can partake in 2 hours of unlimited rum punch or prosecco with your flavoursome main meal. Your tastebuds will be grinning with glee as you’re head-bobbing to those reggae classics.

  1. THE AVENUE COOKERY SCHOOL

Fancy a bottomless brunch experience with an unconventional twist? How about a cooking class at The Avenue’s boozy brunch? Get taught how to make a three course vegan meal whilst those bottomless bellinis (and creative juices) are flowing.

Try your hand at making some smoky aubergine bacon whilst you drink to your heart’s content. Want to day drink and learn a brand new skill? Head down to The Avenue.

  1. MERCANTE RESTAURANT

Finding a bargain in London can be tough. Luckily we’ve got Mercante. Located in Piccadilly, Mercante’s £29 3-course experience entails 90 minutes of free-flowing Prosecco and a range of dishes pulled from the different regions of Italy.

Their brunch for 2 is priced at £55 and is perfect for brunch on a budget!

  1. YASHIN OCEAN HOUSE

Whoever said sushi doesn’t belong at brunch is sorely mistaken. If you like Aqua Kyoto, you’ll love Yashin Ocean House. Japanese restaurant Yashin Ocean is based in Central London and offers brunch every Sunday from 1-5pm for £60 per person.

Choose between an array or tempura, veggie croquettes, sushi and sashimi rolls and carpaccios coupled with bottomless bubbles (or juice if you fancy).

Not to mention that you get a main dish and a generous scoop of matcha green tea ice cream to go with it!

  1. BUNGA BUNGA

Calling all pizza lovers! You’ll go bonkers bonkers when you hear about Bunga Bunga’s bottomless brunch. Self-described as having “innovative drinks that astonish and delight” their 3 course brunch menu is available every Saturday from 12pm-3:30pm. The Bunga Bunga dress code is ‘smart casual’ so be prepared to let your hair down, fill your bellies and enjoy!

They throw in a three course yummy Italian package and as much bottomless pink prosecco as you can muster within their 2 hour slots.

And they make 1 metre-long pizzas! Bottomless brunch is served!

  1. THE LAST TALISMAN

One word to describe The Last Talisman? Magic. A short walk from London Bridge station, this bottomless brunch with a twist sees magician Edwin Todd fuse  mind reading, hypnosis and magic in their enthralling live show.

Be bewitched and amazed whilst you swill bottomless cocktails and chow down on some beautiful Asian shakshuka. This bottomless brunch is unique and one of our favourite bottomless brunches in London!

  1. RADICI

Fancy a taste of Italy? Try Radici. Located in Islington, Radici’s bottomless brunch brings together the best bits of Puglian and Tuscanian cuisine. Sip an Aperol Spritz, Lounge on their picturesque roof terrace and gaze over North London whilst you devour their delightful unlimited drinks. Now that’s what we call La Dolce Vita!

Radici offers a £20 per head bottomless prosecco package. We love their Tuscanian/Puglian combo of eggs, burrata, anchovy and pappa al pomodoro. É bellissimo!

  1. SEA CONTAINERS WATERSIDE DINING

Fancy a snack on the South Bank? Sea Containers Waterside dining is a prime brunch spot for you culture vultures who’ve spent an afternoon traipsing around the South London and The Tate. Brunch occurs on weekends between 1-4pm and lasts 90 minutes.

The maritime-themed restaurant has an international menu, offering everything from tomato and ricotta flatbread to buttermilk fried chicken with waffles. Sea Containers charges £19 per head for bottomless bubbles and mimosas.

And how could we forget? Refill to your heart’s desire at Grey Goose Bloody Mary station and cocktail bar!

  1. THE BOTANIST

We’re going in with another long-time crowd pleaser, The Botanist. The Sloane-square branch of the much-loved chain does bottomless brunch where you can choose 2 or 3 courses to go with your unlimited Bloody Marys, Amstells and Proseccos.

Peruse their gorgeous menu consisting of smoked haddock fishcakes and poached egg – brunch classics. Customers can enjoy some delicious food whilst gazing out at the buzzing streets of Central London. People watching and brunch? Meet you there!

  1. BAR GANSA

Dreaming of Spain? Bar Sansa is the place for your bottomless brunch themed Tapas cravings. Based in North London, the intimate restaurant channels those little Barcelonean hole-in-the-wall joints.

One bite their marvellous serrano ham croquettes and you’ll think you’re in El Carmel – not Camden. Fantastico!  Their bottomless brunch is so good you’ll be needing a siesta afterwards.

  1. SMITHS OF SMITHFIELD FARRINGDON LONDON

Brunch is good – but brunch in London is better. Especially at Smiths, where you can get bottomless Bloody Mary’s, prosecco and mimosas! Get a welcome glass of a Little Bird Gin cocktail upon arrival, along with a 3-course meal for £60 per head.

Or upgrade to their £85 package that includes bottomless bubbles of champagne and caviar bites. Talk about boujee! And for all you plant-lovers, there’s a tasty vegan brunch option too!

  1. CINNAMON KITCHEN CITY

Brand new bottomless brunch alert! Cinnamon Kitchen City is on Devonshire Square and sees a new hybrid brunch menu of East-meets-West cuisine. Bottomless brunch there entails 90 minutes of free-flowing prosecco and 9 delicious sharing dishes. We recommend going with somebody – those portions sizes are food coma territory.

  1. ROKA ALDWYCH

When it comes to brunch, Roka Aldwych doesn’t mess around. Located moments away from Covent Garden, their stellar brunch menu makes them easily considerable as one of the best bottomless brunches in London.

Specialising in contemporary Japanese robatayaki cuisine, Roka’s brunch entails a scrumptious procession of not 1, not 2, but a gargantuan 10 sharing plates! Music to our ears!

Glide from tempura to dumplings to sashimi plates, to a sumptuous dessert main of your choice. Then wash it all down with unlimited prosecco, white or red wine. Bottomless brunch is on every Saturday between 11:30am-3:30pm and Sunday 11:30am-8pm and costs £59 per head.

  1. MRS FOGG’S

Located by Liverpool Street, the counterpart to London’s famous Mr Fogg’s hosts a mean bottomless brunch. Get a welcome drink on arrival and enjoy their cocktail club as you sip their signature pink prosecco. For 90 minutes guests can gobble some wonderful brunch dishes, starting at £32.50 per person. Brunch is served!

  1. MR BAO

Look away toast lovers! Mr Bao turns traditional brunch on its head by substituting toast for delicious bao. The Peckham-based restaurant sees a Taiwaese spin on brunch classics from the Western world. In South London and hankering for a bacon sarnie? Try their bao benedict instead. It’s topped with pork that’s braised so slow a snail would tell it to speed up.

They also offer a stunning veggie alternative of teriyaki shiitake mushrooms for you plant enthusiasts. Dishes are priced individually, but customers can partake in as many bottomless cocktails within an hour for £18 per head. Brunch runs from 11am-5pm on weekends.

  1. BIG CHILL

Found a stone’s throw away from King’s Cross, you can head to the Big Chill every Saturday and Sunday for their boozy brunch. With 2 floors and a roof terrace, there’s plenty of room for brunching. From 12pm-4pm on weekends, guests can choose any brunch dish on their extensive menu. But our favourite is their waffle chicken. To say it’s yummy is an understatement!

  1. DUO LONDON

Do you love pancakes more than we love boozy brunch? Well you’re in luck because DUO serves a bottomless brunch with unlimited pancakes and prosecco on weekends. Priced at £30 per person, guests can eat never-ending pancakes and choose between an array of toppings like Maple Syrup, Chocolate sauce & avocado, bacon and berry compot.

  1. MEGANS

Wanna brunch but have no one to look after your dog? We get it. But thankfully, you can kill two birds with one stone by brunching at Megans London. Megans is an independently-owned dog-friendly venue in South London that charges £25 for 90 minutes worth of bottomless prosecco. So you can brunch to your heart’s content and munch their lovely fried egg without fretting about finding a dog sitter.

  1. HERITAGE RESTAURANT AND COCKTAIL BAR

Heritage immediately sticks out when it comes to bottomless brunch. Why? Because its one of the few restaurants in London that specialises in Swiss cuisine. Located on Rupert Street, guests can get a taste of Switzerland by indulging in bottomless drinks, bottomless fondue and caramel fondant.

One sip of their bottomless prosecco and a dip in their fondue and you’ve been teleported to The Alps. The Swiss restaurant is a great spot for those wanting to get into the Christmas spirit!

  1. JOAN

Joan is situated opposite Shoreditch High Street Station and is a 10 minute drive to Liverpool Street. Converted from an old leather factory, Joan guests can enjoy an all-day Mediterranean-inspired bottomless brunch menu.

For £37 pp you can glide into the weekend with free-flowing prosecco, mimosas and as many mouth watering brunch dishes you can eat in 2 hours! If you’re around East London, beautiful brunch is waiting for you!

  1. THE RUNNING HORSE

Last but not least! The Brits aren’t known for refined cuisine, but boy we take great pride in our roast dinners. Found in Aldgate just a 15 minute drive from Canary Wharf, The Running Horse is a 7 minute walk to lively Liverpool Street and serves bottomless bloody marys and prosecco with their chic, modern twist on the British classic. This is one of the best bottomless brunches if you’re craving a good old Sunday roast!

We’ve come to the end of our Top 50 list of the best bottomless brunches in London, and we have just one more thing to say. Happy brunching folks!

Categories
News

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DRAG AND BURLESQUE?

If anyone can show you the difference between burlesque and drag with their expertise in both show-stopping performances, it’s Proud Cabaret.

Proud takes burlesque and drag to a new fabulously entertaining experience. With world class acts in burlesque and the sassiest acts in drag, Proud is the only place to see the most spectacular performances burlesque has to offer.

WHAT IS BURLESQUE?

Burlesque is a theatrical extravaganza involving dance. Burlesque dance makes fun by copying something in an exaggerated way. It’s playful and teases the audience with risqué acts and outrageous performances which incorporate cabaret. It’s a variety show that is both provocative and comedic.

WHAT IS DRAG?

Drag is lip-syncing, over the top, sass-infused entertainment hosted by eccentric drag queens. Full of humour and sing-a-longs, drag is an experience that gets the audience involved in all aspects of the entertainment.

 

BURLESQUE AND DRAG SHOWS AT PROUD

Proud’s latest show spectacular (as of November 2022) is Bad Santa Burlesque which showcases world class performers and outrageously kinky burlesque acts. It takes the audience on a playful journey to the wonderful world of burlesque fetish performance.

West Side CabaretStory brings passion and rivalry to the stage with an outrageous sexy twist on the timeless love story. Bringing life, energy and passion through performance including burlesque dance, this is an all-star cast spectacular!

Proud hosts it’s latest drag show – Drag Bingo, which immerses the audience with sing-a-longs and dance-offs in-between games. Full of endless fun and raucous entertainment hosted by the sassiest queens, this show is the most hilarious day or night you can ask for!

Our famous Drag Brunch at Proud Brighton is a hilarously fun, boozy brunch with song, dance, great food and flowing drinks!

The Jungle Queen is a show-stopping brunch spectacular that see’s the Disney classic The Jungle King get a drag twist! With 3 hours of endlessly fun antics, including camp renditions of your favourite songs, flamboyant drag acts and sing-a-longs!

 

QUOTES FROM THE AUDIENCE:

Quotes from people who have seen burlesque shows at Proud;

  • “What a night!! Amazing singing, mystifying magic, fantastic fire performance, sexy burlesque, awesome aerialist….the list goes on. Never have I seen so much variety in one show.”
  • “Can’t wait for my next visit as it’s the best burlesque I have seen in London. The show is so well planned all the acts did not disappoint and completely blew us all away!”
  • “First time to a burlesque evening and it doesn’t disappoint. The performances are jaw dropping, surprising and delightfully shocking.”
  • “If you’re a burlesque fan or simply looking for something different, this is THE place to be. Having seen a few burlesque shows across London, this is by far my favourite!”

 

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM A BURLESQUE PERFORMANCE

You can expect to laugh, burlesque is very tongue in cheek and each performer has their own performance style, comedy and sex appeal is what makes burlesque so unique. Expect the unexpected with a burlesque show, just don’t take it too seriously! A burlesque performance can include comedy, acrobatics, dancing, singing, fire-breathing, anything goes with burlesque, it’s not just about striptease.

SOME FUN FACTS ABOUT THE HISTORY OF BURLESQUE

Burlesque comes from the Italian word ‘burlesco’ which means ‘mockery’ or ‘making fun of’. It started in the Victorian era and the word ‘burlesque’ was used to describe parody plays.

The Americanisation of burlesque took place in New York in the 1840’s, the burlesque shows still retained their pardoy-esque elements but this time featured the performers in revealing tights which were considered risqué for the Victorian era.

Entering the 20th century, the popularity of burlesque grew, much to do with its transformation into striptease. This brought moral outrage as many disagreed with the format of the shows, with one performer actually getting arrested for ‘accidentally’ forgetting her tights. Unthinkable now!

THE QUEEN OF BURLESQUE

Dita Von Teese is the most famous burlesque performer in this day and age. She chose the name Dita in tribute to silent film actress Dita Parlo, Von Treese was picked from the phone book. In a shoot with Playboy they misspelt it Teese and it stuck!

She wore a corset every day for years until she cinched her waist down to 22 inches, 16 inches when laced down!

She began performing burlesque in 1992, and has helped popularise its revival. Her burlesque shows are often inspired by 1930’s and 1940’s musicals and films. Some of her more famous dances have involved a carousel horse, a giant powder compact and a giant martini glass. Her feather fan dance, inspired by burlesque dancer Sally Rand, featured the world’s largest feather fans, now on display in Hollywood’s Museum of Sex.

 

BURLESQUE, THE CONCLUSION

As you can probably tell by now, burlesque is a variety of lots of different areas of performance  that make it what it is! There is no end to what talents and acts can be included in a burlesque performance.

Burlesque has come a long way since it first came on the scene, but it’s fair to say it hasn’t lost it’s humour at all over all these years, just maybe more clothes! The only thing to remember is that it’s fun and not to take it too seriously.

 

DON’T MISS OUT!

If you want to come and experience burlesque for yourself and see one of our extraordinary shows here at Proud, with world-class acts that will blow you away, and a night that won’t be forgotten, click here and book now!