Bernie Dieter's Berlin Underground

Bernie Dieter’s Berlin Underground – Review – ★★★½

Bernie Dieter hosts a klassy kabarett in London’s new pleasure garden.

Bernie Dieter’s Berlin Underground | Underbelly Festival – Cavendish Square | Until 29 August 2021 | From £20

Berlin’s saucy chanteuse Bernie Dieter is a seasoned pro at working up the crowd to a frenzy, and she’s at the top of her game in this hour of variety. Her biggest hitters include a gorgeous (and almost unrecognisable) cover of MGMT’s Time to Pretend, a raucous punk salute to cunnilingus, and a hairy surprise.

However, there a are a few flat numbers in the show, letting the momentum slip a little – and the geek-chic band feel a little out-of-place in the salacious misfit world that Bernie Dieter creates (did they get the memo on styling?). It is impressive to see circus skills set to live music rather than a backing track, but perhaps there are too many original songs here which detract from the acrobatic performances.

The circus turns are provided by Lisa Lottie (who does some risky hoop tricks and LED spectacle), aerial and floor acrobatics from saucy male sailor couple Little Finch, and no-BS pole dancing queen Jao. The acts are all impressive yet lack the undeniable raucous appeal of a La Soirée cast, or the charming characterisation of other circus style shows.

A welcome escape from thronging Oxford Street. Pass a summer’s evening in the company of Bernie Dieter & pals at Underbelly’s new venue in the West End.