Baby Lame is an incredible fixture on the alternative cabaret scene in London. Fresh from having won the Judges Award at the Mimetic Festival 2014, Baby Lame’s show Don’t Call it A Comeback, will be showing at this year’s Vault Festival at the end of January. The show is set to be a ‘kaleidoscope of midnight-movie sexuality and bombastic bad taste’ according to the Vault Festival programme. The show has certainly been a hit with reviewers. Amy Grimehouse gave it five stars and called it: ‘The entertainment equivalent of riding a unicorn down a mountain while inhaling clouds of poppers. Brilliant.’ This show will be Baby Lames first one hour long performance and so has been her main focus for the past year. I caught up with Baby Lame herself to discuss her shows and the creative process behind them!
QBaby Lame describes how she has been involved in London’s queer arts scene for over 10 years as a spectator before deciding to get involved herself. ‘About two years ago I saw two American artists – Dina Martina and Penny Arcade perform in London, and I just identified with what they were doing. They were two performers that just didn’t fit the mould. So, I thought ‘I want in on this!’ That was how Baby Lame was born. I’ve spent the last couple of years performing around London. I’ve done backrooms, sex clubs, tea parties, you name it!’ She continues, ‘Baby Lame is the product of cramming as many shit celebrities as possible into a microwave, turning the timer on and seeing what happens. She is a six year old amalgamation of pop culture at its worst and most disgusting which in a strange way gives her a real sense of vulnerability.’
At the start of her creative process Baby Lame looks to sources like ‘horror B-movies and cheap 80’s cartoons – anything in your face and visual. I also take a lot of inspiration from current trash celebrities doing the rounds like Lindsay Lohan, Kim Kardashian, and Honey Boo Boo and so on. Mix them with the acid humour of Joan Rivers, John Waters and performance artists like Christeene, David Hoyle and Dina Martina and you should get a rough idea of what Baby Lame is like!’. She admits that she has only recently started rehearsing her shows, owing to the fact that her numbers are now more complex than ever! She explains that until recently ‘the show has just sort of come together through performing and testing Baby Lame with the audiences – learning and making mistakes through just getting up on the stage and trying things out. I really like to interact and feed off of audiences, so try to keep things as unscripted as possible.’
Baby Lame’s shows are a mixture of punk, horror, and drag (amongst other things) which certainly make them stand out on the cabaret scene. ‘Baby Lame is all about pushing things as far as possible – it’s a return to the kind of DIY performance style of people created by the likes of Divine and the Cockettes. Baby raps, sings, dances and slut drops. She’s definitely an acquired taste!’ she enthuses.
Despite being an acquired taste Baby Lame has had a lot of success over the past few years, yet she declares, ‘I’m not in doing this for the money – luckily there isn’t any! I respect performers who aren’t afraid to be ugly and who push through traditional boundaries in performance. That’s what I’m trying to do.’
Looking to the future Baby Lame has high hopes for continuing her work, ‘Ideally I would love to be able to tour the show around the world. But first this year is all about collaborations, I’m really looking forward to seeing what happens when Baby’s world mixes with other performers, visual artists and genres. Other projects in the pipeline include a Baby Lame cartoon and recording some original tracks to include in the shows. We will also be taking Don’t Call it a Comeback to Edinburgh, so who knows where we’ll end up!’ She’s certainly making an impact on the London scene, so I have no doubt that she will make an impact to audiences in Edinburgh and beyond too!
Baby Lame is playing at the Vault Festival Jan 29-31. For more information click here.