Review: The House of Blakewell, King’s Head Theatre

17:25 30 August 2012

Songwriter Harry Blake and singer Alice Keedwell make up The House of Blakewell

Songwriter Harry Blake and singer Alice Keedwell make up The House of Blakewell

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Harry Blake’s witty songs make for a refreshing and entertaining evening of cabaret

»Songwriter Harry Blake and singer Alice Keedwell together make up The House of Blakewell, and the duo arrives at The King’s Head fresh from an award-winning performance at The Soho Theatre.

The evening takes us on a witty and entertaining journey through a repertoire of left-wing, anti-governmental and self-deprecating parables for the modern Londoner.

Blake sits at the piano, quietly resplendent in dinner jacket, while Keedwell takes centre stage in a twenties-style white dress and a variety of other get-ups, including a Tam o’Shanter, full Cardinal’s costume and dirty mackintosh (not simultaneously!)

Blake writes the songs and proves himself a talented lyricist, drily weaving catchy rhymes and punchy one-liners like a musical David Mitchell, and Keedwell, the show’s vocalist, has plenty of charm and a fabulous voice which ensure each song hits its mark with an appreciative audience.

In true cabaret style, audience participation is encouraged with the help of printed lyrics in the programme and the intimate and friendly space that is The King’s Head.

I and my date for the evening, a man allergic to sing-a-longs of any description, were heartily warbling along by the second number - a Lonnie Donegan meets old time music hall pastiche on the oh-so-trendy Hackney dad, My Old Man.

This is a refreshingly simple evening of cabaret. The House of Blakewell allows the wit of the lyrics and a clear, quality execution to the lead the way ahead of gimmicks or brashness.

At £10 for just under an hour’s entertainment it is a little pricey, but if you can spare a tenner you would do well to spend in hour in this delightful company’s company.

* The House of Blakewell was at The King’s Head in Upper Street, N1, on Monday, August 27. There will be another show on Sunday, September 2.

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