The Stage review

“Strutting needily about the house as her audience enter, Bernie St-Claire is just as you would remember her if she existed. Those limpid eyes, that willingness to please and the glittering costume that just drips off her. Her voice – once the lights are down and she has settled her audience – is pure nicotine and black coffee.It is Sarah-Louise Young’s attention to detail in her creation of her four archetypes of the stage which makes Cabaret Whore such a treat. She establishes a persona and works the audience in characters who are as sharp as they are tragic.

A quick-change creates Karsha, the Eastern European performance artist who came to work in the sex trade but who was lied to and ended up on the stage. New character Baby Doll, the grown-up child star still in her yellow tutu and similarly attired dolly, sings songs so provocative they would be truly unsettling on a real child’s lips. For a finale, there is La Poule Plombee, a depressive and, it must be added, baffling French chanteuse is wheeled out.

Young’s songs for each character are perfectly pitched. MD Michael Roulston’s pastiche tunes are spot on while Young’s lyrics bite as hard as her characters. Great stuff.”

Review by Thom Dibdin in The Stage.