A word from the Editor’s desk.
The showcase season is upon us, as cabaret entertainers of all types look to fill their diaries for the following year and beyond.
As I write these notes, I have just returned from Southend on Sea, where I attended two of the three days of the Curtains Up showcase. The ultra-efficient Maria Johnson, who produced the glittering Curtains Up affair, ran a splendid event and I went along to write the reviews you can see within this issue of UK Cabaret. The third day of the showcase was attended and reviewed by UK Cabaret reviewer Johnny Tait.
During October, UK Cabaret will also be present at the JMA showcase in Minehead and The Peller Artistes Showcase in Sheffield. Bristol agent John Mills is a staunch supporter and loyal friend to UK Cabaret and we were delighted to accept his invitation and head to meet the redcoats at Butlins. As for Peller Artistes, I always look forward to spending time in the most pleasant company of agent Barry Peller and the showcase producer Paul Beardow. UK Cabaret cartoonist Keith McIntyre is one of the real unsung heroes behind this publication. Keith is coming along with me to the Peller event and hopefully our ace scribbler will come up with some new ideas for further cartoons.
All the agents whose showcase events we attend are subscribers to UK Cabaret and our subscription list of agents continues its slow, steady growth. Showcase events are in my view pivotal to promoting what is great about UK light entertainment.
Television doesn’t help us in any way. In fact the talent show judges (whoever they are) in Cowell-land, have been known to be openly derisory about ‘cruise acts’ and ‘Clubland acts’. Now I hear on the grapevine that Cowell’s minions are trawling Clubland now in order to find more contestants. Ironic isn’t it? Who, knows, perhaps they are running short of cranks and nutters to audition? In my view, any professional entertainer sucked into the Cowell corporate machine and tempted with 15 minutes of fame should beware. For the very few, your fees will go up for a while, but for many careers have been left in tatters and confidence has been battered. Aspiring TV talent stars should remember, Cowell and the clan can make you look any way they want you to look.
Real UK talent, such as the brilliant Paul Zerdin, had to go across the pond to America and win Americas Got Talent, after being ignored by the student union gang who run telly over here.
In the meantime, we will carry on mixing with the professionals in showcase-land and covering real UK show business, staying away from la-la land and remaining true to our ideals.