OFS reviewer and volunteer usher Lucy saw Tartmaster: The Cabaret Gameshow, from TART Productions.

The first live show I’ve seen since covid-19 crashed the community in 2020 and I was totally unprepared. Uninitiated and ignorant of the sexy, sordid, silly spectacle that would explode into the space, in the form of Ginger Tart (Anna Sturrock) and her gorgeous, glittery gang.

The set-up is simple. A live theatre and live virtual audience battle it out against each other, under the guidance of Ginger, ‘The Master of all Tarts’. A large screen dominates, replaying the action at a thirty second delay and displaying a chatbox for virtual viewers.

Ginger makes for a riotous host. She is fabulous and flirtatious, a flaming ‘glamour-clown’, pushing it to the limits in a show free of isms and heavy on the avant-garde.  “Here for all of your challenging crevices,” Ginger runs the show:  doling out tasks and introducing acts with flair, finesse, a flip of her wig, a tap of her heel and a swish of her sparkly, gold cape.

The acts are sublime. A cabaret combo of the eccentric, erotic and hysteric. Tantalising, in tulle and with tassles, Frisky Whispers (Xander Sykes) and Bolly Ditz Dolly (i-can’t-find-theiir-name) interweave skill and style to spellbinding perfection. The tasks are random, rambunctious. A variety of vibrance, open to interpretation. Nothing is simple. Ginger allocates and snatches points with abandon. The show is riveting to the last.

Part cabaret, part gameshow, part drag act: it is ultimately very audience-driven, only succeeding through participation. It is a night which begs you to let your hair down, leaves you dancing in your chair. As a result of covid, the live audience was considerably reduced but the utilisation/introduction of virtual viewers made up for this. Also, the sanitisation and segregation enforced by covid-19 made for hilarious props designed to keep us ‘safe’ (and falling off our chairs, in stitches). Ginger conveyed a board-meeting for Offbeat where the question “how do we keep Ginger from licking everyone?” was raised. SCANDALOUS-SHAMELESS-SAFE. 😀

Laugh-out-loud. Like a night out. No ism. Just jism. Outrageous.

Seen 24 June, 2021.