A Real Reykjavik Cabaret
Reykjavik Kabarett is a group of talented artists focused on bringing their nightlife phenomenon and platform for burlesque Reykjavik’s entertainment scene.
At the core of the Reykjavik Kabarett family is Margrét Erla Maack aka. Miss Mokki, and Lalli, the magician, often referred to as “mom and dad.” Then there’s Maísól, the burlesque clown, the hula hooping queen Unnur aka Miss Encircled, comedian/belly dancer Nadia and musician/bearded lady Margrét Arnar. During show nights, both local and foreign relatives join in as well as guests from the drag community Drag-Súgur and other underground theaters.
Founder/mom of this ensemble is Margrét Erla who teaches burlesque dancing and regularly performs at The Slipper Room in New York. “I realized I had more burlesque gigs in New York than in Reykjavík, where I actually live. Lalli and I had been talking about doing something for a loooong time... and when three burlesque friends wanted to visit in October last year, we decided it was time! After selling out completely, we decided to do this regularly. In June we're going to perform weekly,” Margrét tells us.
Reykjavik Kabarett is a variety show; it’s a revue, burlesque and talent show where the humor is crude and jokes are visual. “We decided to call it Kabarett because Icelandic people are familiar with the musical/film Cabaret, and that also entails that there’s no plot, it’s entertaining and it's something you can’t bring your kids to see. Icelandic people are quite new to the word “burlesque,” and we spend a lot of time in interviews explaining that it is not simply stripping—we celebrate our bodies and how funny the naked body is but we mix a whole lot in with the burlesque, which always surprises people. For a dirty, degrading strip show, people can go somewhere else. Two-thirds of our audience is female, which I find interesting. They say that it's refreshing to see the female body as funny and ridiculous and not just sexy or vulnerable,” Margrét explains.
The recent popularity of cabaret and burlesque in Iceland is, as Margrét tells us “because now they exist and chime. With the rising popularity of drag, stand-up comedy and improv, we realized that the people of Reykjavik were excited for a comedy performance, rather than theater, where they can enjoy tongue in cheek jokes and basically just nonsense. The relatively new dating culture here also helps!”
A cabaret show is made up of lots of short bits and is easier than a long play, letting you enjoy cocktails at the same time—an option at Rósenberg Reykjavík.
Reykjavik Kabarett is now putting together their best acts plus a lot of new ones. Rósenberg Reykjavik is a bigger venue and stage than they’ve performed on before, and Margrét promises crazier acts and more elaborate costumes. “There will be burlesque, comedy, skills, magic and lots of things that we’ll create as the shows progress. That’s also very important—doing acts for a live audience alters the act every time. Every show is unique.”
To enjoy this fantastic show during your stay in Iceland, fear not, no knowledge of Icelandic is needed as 99% of the acts are visual. If you run into trouble, we can almost guarantee that there will be an Icelandic person sitting nearby, willing to translate the important stuff.
To ensure you don't miss out on this feisty show, book your cheap flight to Iceland here!
WHAT: Reykjavik Kabarett
WHEN: Every Thursday in June at 10 pm
WHERE: Rósenberg Reykjavík
For tickets and more information go to tix.is
Images courtesy of Reykjavik Kabarett