The Kaye Hole @ Assembly Checkpoint

The fiercely talented Reuben Kaye is back with another round of The Kaye Hole's diverse after-hours cabaret

Review by Stephanie Stevenson | 08 Aug 2023
  • The Kaye Hole

Take a live band, a dark room, and a charming host in a revealing outfit that makes you question your sexuality, and you have only just scratched the surface of what it is to visit The Kaye Hole. Reuben Kaye acts as the charming ring master of an inclusive, jam-packed jamboree of both playful and impactful cabaret acts. A star in their own right, with razor-sharp comedic material, a glamourous look and a killer voice to boot, Kaye has it all. Despite the packed theatre, the atmosphere feels intimate due to the magnetic prowess Kaye holds on stage, which is further enhanced by the support of a skillful tech team and talented band.

No two nights are ever the same; the six-act lineup varies, making each show a tantalising surprise. The diversity of talent (and nudity!) on display keeps you on your toes. Michelle Brasier belts out What’s Going On? which keeps the momentum running into Dane Simpson’s comedic set, which pokes fun at his fellow Australians and features a didgeridoo. Prancing onto the stage with an accordion, Eloina sets the audience up for some naked tomfoolery, but she ends on a powerful note when she invites audience members onto the stage to inspect her genitals to raise awareness of the issues that stem from body image.

Elf Lyons hits the stage like a tornado, performing a chaotic mime piece amongst some well-thought jokes. Annabelle Marlow soulfully sings an original and witty piece about dating two graphic designers, while David Colvin closes with a crazy impressive rendition of AC/DC's Thunderstruck on the bagpipes. What connects these acts together is the safe space they share and preserve alongside Kaye. Although it can be said the show is overall sexy, thrilling and fun, it also features some hard-hitting moments such as during Kaye’s devilishly mesmerising rendition of God’s Song (That’s Why I Love Mankind).

The audience give just as much energy and enthusiasm to each act as they do to their host, which speaks to the type of supporters the show attracts. This experimental and protected space Kaye has carved out goes to show why so many people return again and again, just to feel part of that inner circle of rambunctious raunchy revelry that only The Kaye Hole can provide.

The Kaye Hole Hosted by Reuben Kaye, Assembly Checkpoint, 10-12, 17-19 and 24-26 Aug, 11.50pm, £15.50-16.50 (over-18s only)