Nancy Hogg reports on Ladyfest Eclectic Cabaret – The Elm Tree, Cambridge, 27 March 2007

Artist Visiting Cambridgeshire
As part of Cambridge's first Ladyfest the Elm Tree welcomed a suitably eclectic group of female performers to its Eclectic Cabaret on Tuesday night. With all proceeds going to the Dignity.Period! Campaign and ten acts on the bill it wasn't long before the venue was fit to bursting.

The acts ranged from a violinist, to dance, to film, to comedy, as well as singer-songwriters and a French pop duo. Vidya Math, a talented and beguiling dancer mixed contemporary and classical Indian dance. Next up, violinist Sharon Sullivan provided an atmospheric and slightly autumnal interlude.

Other high-lights of the evening included an intriguing short film by Emily Blickem. One Little Step was a musical mixing 1950's imagery with vibrant dance routines and recalled memories of Dennis Potter's Lipstick on Your Collar.

Next up was comedian, Hannah Dunleavy - described on the flyer as ‘rude' she was certainly the only performer to get the crowd to shut up. With a worldview encompassing everything from paedophiles to 30-something angst she was acerbic, irreverent and very, very funny.

If it is possible to criticise a night as inspiring as this it would be simply to say that the huge turn out, and consequent success of the evening, meant that the more lo-fidelity performers, such as Jacqui Carnall and Heather McVey, often battled to be heard over the sound of the crowd enjoying themselves. However, it was a great night of varied and interesting performances and a successful benefit for the highly deserving Dignity.Period! Campaign.

Writer: Nancy Hogg