Okay, guys, you know I don’t blog often, and I’m not big on the public comments unless it just has to burst out, but, ah, The London Cabaret Awards.
That annual fixture now in its fourth baffling round of nominations. This year’s a doozy though. Some beautifully talented and hard-working people here who totally deserve recognition. Recognition for what exactly is less easy to make out. Here’s a run-down of reasons why these awards make SO LITTLE SENSE.
1. I cannot think of another annual artistic award that isn’t given for specific work done that particular year. Oscars, Pulitzer, Booker, Oliviers, BHOF. Yes, you have ones like the National Television Awards, but they’re voted by the public and are openly a popularity/fanbase competition. Shouldn’t cabaret by its iconoclastic, groundbreaking nature be celebrating new work?
How about these for categories? Best new burlesque act (can be by established performers of course); Best new ongoing show; Best one off production (I like this one – let’s keep it!); Best new musical number;…oh you get the idea.
2. Every year the panel includes venue managers, and every year there are a “surprising” amount of nominations that chiefly perform at those venues (it goes without saying that the venues themselves are nominated). I don’t blame them, sure they don’t have much spare time to see other shows, and hey, why not get something out of the hassle of being on the panel. Or how about keeping the panel composed of people whose job it is to see shows and have no allegiance? Critics perhaps, like the Golden Globes; there are enough review sites out there now. In fairness there has always been at least one critic on the panel, but I say go the whole hog and do away with accusations of partisanship.
3. The categories some acts appear in are…interesting. One fabulous host/singer who appears in the burlesque category, one marvelous new show that appears in speciality act, a one-off production that was a TV show…
[It has also been pointed out that in the ongoing shows, there’s one that appeared once in 2013 and not at all this year and that the Alternative category, while all terrific acts, might better be named Miscellaneous. That was pointed out by a couple of the nominees in that category by the way. Well, paraphrasing to spare your delicate senses].
4. I’m not nominated. This should of course be number one, but I’m far too humble for that.
There, that’s better. Gonna have my cuppa now and work on next year’s Edinburgh Fringe: new show with new material and new songs. Yeah, I got no agenda me.