The Black Cat CabaretA fire-breathing hell pig, coked-up ballerinas and a stocky man miming furiously to Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now. Just some of the acts in the Black Cat Cabaret, the ultimate definition of bohemian decadence and silliness, with the added bonus of feeling like you’re on a particularly whacky acid trip.

Billed as being inspired by the “absinthe-soaked heyday of Montmartre’s dark and daring cabaret underworld” and presided over by the charismatically mischievous Dusty Limits, this was a production rooted in the murky and corrupt night-time dealings of seedy Parisian back streets, or in our case, Coventry Street just off Piccadilly Circus.

Perhaps it was the dim lighting, perhaps it was the double gin and tonic on an empty stomach (Cafe de Paris only serves doubles on Friday nights), but the cabaret’s coterie of talented performers actively encouraged and successfully extracted louche behaviour from me along with the lion’s share of the audience. There was whooping and cat calling, jocular heckling and raucous sing-a-longs. The experience was essentially as if we were all part of one colossal Moulin Rouge-themed stag and hen do, deposited in plush, decadent surroundings with alcohol flowing like the Zambezi.

All performers at the Black Cat Cabaret were astoundingly talented. There was Sammy Dinneen who had my jaw to the floor within the first 10 seconds by casually walking down the grand staircase on his hands. Later came Chrysalis, the self-proclaimed fire-breathing freak side show, who was made up alarmingly well to look like a hell pig  – or Cochon d’Enfer as he was lovingly named. He even indulged us in a striptease, at the culmination of which we gawked as one would at a car crash while he pulled sausage links out of his trousers. Mr. Blobby-esque underwear, complete with stockings and glittering pink shoes may be an unusual fashion choice for a hell pig, but for the Cochon d’Enfer it appears to be but a mere trifling detail in a grander scheme of insanity. The feeling of drug-addled delirium returned with a hazy vengeance.

The second half brought yet more debauchery as opening act EastEnd Cabaret took to the stage. A musical duo consisting of Bernadette Byrne and Victor Victoria, they were undoubtedly a highlight of the show. With songs smutty enough to bring a light blush to even the most brazen of cheeks, watching them lurch around the stage to an accordion-accompanied rendition of Right Said Fred’s seminal masterpiece ‘I’m Too Sexy’ really has to be seen to be believed.

The finale came in the form of a song sung by Dusty Limits, aptly named ‘Drink!’ (emphasis on the exclamation point). It tied up in a neat little package the essence of the show, which is undoubtedly the lowering of inhibitions and acquiescence to baser desires. The whole experience was decadent, sinful and highly entertaining, tucked away in London’s beautiful Cafe de Paris, below ground far from the proscriptive light of prudish day. It’s not a place for the stuffy and formal, but lovers of smut and filth will be in their element. Go and let your hair down for a night, I’ll be at the bar.

Black Cat Cabaret is on every Friday at Cafe de Paris. For more information and tickets please visit the Black Cat or Cafe de Paris website.