On a scale of naughty, it's very! Chichester Cabaret Club is here...

On a scale of naughty, it is going to be very, promises Dawn Gracie.
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“I don't like to call it crude but it is certainly fruity!” she says. The event is, of course, the Chichester Cabaret Club, one of the best-fun events at this year’s Festival of Chichester. It takes place on Saturday, June 24, 7pm at Oaklands Pavilion.

Dawn is masterminding a high-octane seated evening of mayhem and music, featuring burlesque, drag and comedy from visiting acts – and definitely not for the faint-hearted. Suitable for 18+, it comes with scantily-clad swishes on the stage Tickets £20.

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“The first Chichester Cabaret Club was technically 2013 but I didn't actually give it the title of Chichester Cabaret Club until 2016 just so that Chichester could never deny that it had actually happened! And basically we put on the most amazing cabaret show which delivers the best burlesque and, this year, drag king talent which might be a new phrase to your ears. People are used to drag queens who are males impersonating females but drag kings are females impersonating males. And it's just as much a skill as the other way round. Drag queens are highly skilled performers but being able to impersonate a male is just as much a challenge, and our performer on June 24 is going to give a tribute to a much-loved figure of back in the day...

Chichester Cabaret ClubChichester Cabaret Club
Chichester Cabaret Club

“In 2013 cabaret was quite a new concept in Chichester and it also happened by accident. The first one we did was a fundraiser. Creations Hair Salon was wanting to put on a show at the Assembly Room and raise money and we did the show and it was very well received and so I just thought ‘Oh, let's do this again!’ So as I say it really did happen by accident but we have really got a very strong following now. It's a massive following and people come from all over and we get acts from all over.

“I think at first eyebrows were raised and pearls were clutched but since then people have got to hear more about it and really like it. I think at first some of the tickets that we sold through the Festival, people were coming along not really knowing what they were in for but people love it and it's a lovely atmosphere.”

And it's a chance to see a different side to Dawn: “People who know me from the Stansted garden show or from the WI will see one persona but my cabaret club persona is something that is far more elevated with a very strong adult leaning. How broad-minded do you have to be? Very!”

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Also coming up: Burlesque Life Drawing with Dawn Gracie and Leticia Silva dos Santos at Pallant House Gallery, Thursday, June 22, 5-7.30pm, £40, workshop. Join an unconventional life drawing workshop for an “unforgettable” evening of art, live music and burlesque with Dawn Gracie, Leticia Silva Dos Santos and Lena Lenman. Be mesmerised as burlesque artist Lena performs and poses in spectacular costume pieces while Dawn Gracie serenades the space. All the while, life drawing artist and tutor Leticia will be there to guide your creative journey, from quick one-minute poses to full 15-minute exercises. Book through Pallant House Gallery.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​