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

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.


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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.

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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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