By Faye Armstrong.
Wednesday nights in London beg the question: what is there to do? I could wash my undies; heaven knows that my once-white delicates could never have too much Persil attacking their muted colour. I could catch up on soap operas; but the characters’ lives – whilst ever so depressing – only remind me that nothing TV worthy happens in my own mundane existence. I could sort out the mountain of papers threatening to break free of the bottom cupboard draw where they are so very cleverly hidden; but scrutinising my disastrous finances will only send me into a spiral of depression and angst, forcing me to acknowledge how I have no money, no credit, no equity, no stocks, no bonds, no savings, no property, no hope of an easy future. I could always ignore all the above (something I am so very good at) and pop along to Floridita for some food, some drinks, some cabaret and some laughs. Yea, that sounds like something I could do.
On cabaret night at Floridita there are delicates, but not the pathetic, well-worn, limp things you’d find in my underwear draw. These delicates are small, sexy, and sparkly. They cling to the skin of the beautiful sirens wearing them like infants to their mother. These sirens are the long-haired, long-legged, long-eyelashed sort, with bosoms high and firm and bums pert and round. These sirens are drag queens; three to be exact, headlining under the name The Globe Girls.
The Globe Girls perform mimed routines to another type of queen: the pop queen. Beyonce’s ‘Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)’ is a crowd pleaser, and is performed with more attitude and more rhythm than the American Diva herself. But The Globe Girls’ talent is no secret, it’s known worldwide and they have performed for the likes of Sir Elton John, Eric Clapton, HRH Prince Edward and even Beyonce herself (a performance at which we hear Beyonce allegedly broke down, questioning her talent and dance ability, and the admittance to a mental health clinic ensued). The rousing threesome do have to break for breath and cocktails, however, at which point numerous other acts - including burlesque, singers, and live bands - entertain, getting the movers and shakers in the joint to their feet and working it on the dance floor.
On cabaret night at Floridita there are scenes which rival a late-night Hollyoaks episode. The backdrop is a vision of floor-to-ceiling mirrors, grand chandeliers, and a pallet of blacks, silvers and reds. The crowd are slick; shirts and shoes for the men, skirts and stilettoes for the ladies. Waiting staff are kitted out only in what Anne Summers would sell and the men are not objecting. This real life soap plays out significantly better however than its box counterpart; if only I could record it and re-watch over and over.
On cabaret night at Floridita there are papers, but not the sort that leave you with your head in your hands, questioning how you’re going to pay next month’s rent and afford the milk that will go in your tea that apparently ‘makes it all better’ (how’s that for irony?). These papers show delectable delights, like salmon and tiger prawn ceviche, spit roast suckling pig, and a pudding of banana and acai sorbet, poached pineapple and lemon shortbread. 3 courses and the 4 and a half hour show (7.30pm – midnight with a DJ until 2am) for only £35. Screw the milk, I don’t like tea anyway.
On cabaret night at Floridita there is no depression or angst; no thought of the future that earlier seemed so bleak. There is just the then and now, and the elated feeling of bliss that of all the things you could be doing on a Wednesday night you chose right, you chose fun, you chose Floridita.
So what are you waiting for? Book yourself a table right away!