I’ve never really liked Christmas songs. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t mind the odd bit of Mariah or Wizzard, but normally after a few days I’m done.
And then this winter I discovered Frisky & Mannish’s fantastic collaboration with the Scott Mills Show – The Perfect Christmas Single. Ironically, I was hooked on the tune before I even listened properly to the words and realised it was all about being Single at Christmas, and enjoying yourself!
In the few weeks since The Perfect Christmas Single entered my life, I have internet-stalked Frisky & Mannish, watching some of the pop comedy duo’s amazing music videos – including a hilarious sketch where they turned nursery rhymes saucy.
It was while I was scouring the pair’s website that I noticed an advert for their only live performance in the UK this year – Beyond The Cabaret.
Set at the Clapham Grand, Beyond the Christmas Cabaret had an enticing line-up of burlesque, singers, comedians, circus acts and novelty acts.
I booked tickets, and then realising it was the same day as The Third Date of Christmas, suggested to Mr Mauve that we enjoy both experiences as part of our Sunday date.
As you will have read in the Third Date, Mr Mauve cancelled on me … Leaving me with an emergency stand-in in the form of The Trainspotter. A lovely guy, but not someone I wanted to spend my entire Sunday with, especially when I was rather hung over!
After a fun, but draining, date with The Trainspotter, I messaged all the London-based Experimental Dating boys, in a hope one of them might be free at short notice!
Success! Mister Mischief replied to say he could be in town within an hour and a half.
I wished The Trainspotter a fond farewell as he left for the office (yes it was a Sunday afternoon!), and headed off to Clapham.
Now something you may not realise about my ever-growing team of Experimental Daters is that before this blog, I knew very few of the EDs. Obviously three of the Daters were my actual Challenge Dates – TOWTS, The Enigma and The Best Man – however there are a number of EDs who I’m yet to even meet.
A few weeks ago a group of EDs met up at Love & Lust’s Christmas Singles Party, and we also have a ‘Christmas Party’ of sorts organised (cute, huh?!). We’ve formed something of an online dating community, however, for the most part, I’ve only spoken to a number of the Experimental Daters over email.
Mister Mischief is one such ED. He first emailed me to ask me on a date, not realising my 30 Dates Challenge was complete. Rather than agree to a date, I checked out the link to his own dating blog, and asked him if he’d like to write for the 30 Dates – The Experiments … and the rest is history.
So my first impression of Mischief was a confident one. I read his blog, and was perplexed by what I read.
By complete contrast to the first impression, Mischief seemed completely clueless about women.
His blog profile and first post as an Experimental Dater showed a different side. Whilst some people read it as equally clueless, others saw his approach ‘I have a huge c*ck’, or words to that effect, as arrogant and dismissive of women.
So it was with some trepidation and curiosity that some of the other female EDs met up with Mister Mischief before Love & Lust. I had overslept that evening, and only met him briefly at the Singles Event, however Miss 32 and Rebound Gal both commented on how nice and shy he was, and how unlike what they imagined …
And then he sent in his second blog post.
Did anyone else find themselves cringing when Mister Mischief ended his #WednesdayDatingClub post with
About the girl – A bit taller and a prettier face in person would have made her perfect
It got worse.
He went on another date last week, and when telling me about it over email described her as ‘tubby’ and talked about getting her a gym membership.
Mischief had gone from confident guy, to weirdo, to shy man, to awkwardly rude, to d*ck in a few short encounters.
So what was he really like?
The only way I was going to find out was in person.
Up to that point, my only real experience of cabaret was the Scarlet Vixens burlesque show, which I went to with The Burlesque Dancer on Date Number Three, and the amazing performance the Vixens put on at my 30th Birthday party in September. However I already knew enough about burlesque and cabaret to realise, having met him that morning, that The Trainspotter would have been an incredibly awkward date at a cabaret show! So regardless of how arrogant and rude Mister Mischief ended up being, I was certain it would make for a simpler evening!
I bustled out of Clapham Junction station, my woollen UGGs soaking wet, and Christmas jumper beginning to itch. It had begun to rain steadily, and as I approached the crowd outside the Clapham Grand, I realised the queue wasn’t moving. The doors hadn’t opened yet.
Mister Mischief towered above most of the guys in the queue, so was easy to find. I introduced myself, and we stood chatting easily in the queue.
I was almost immediately struck by how nice and normal he was. From the girls’ description, I’d imagined him to be painfully shy. However he was simply politely spoken, and possibly more intimidated in a group situation than one-on-one. He was more well-spoken than I had expected, and more attractive in person than the photo he had chosen for his blog profile had suggested.
Confused by how approachable he was, and in my typically honest manner, I cut straight to the chase. As we stood waiting in the rain and cold, I asked him about his ‘tubby’ comment, and the way he had finished his last blog post.
Turns out Mr Mischief is just rather clueless. Oblivious of how things read, and the fact that no one could identify when he was joking.
Finally the queue began to move and we headed into the warm venue. We found central seats near the bar, and settled down, to a variety show of cabaret acts. There was burlesque, acrobatics, magic, and much more. You’ll have to forgive the quality of the photos – my phone had run out of battery, so I was rather unceremoniously taking pictures on my iPad … yes, I was one of those people!!
There were numerous highlights of the evening. I know Mischief definitely appreciated the burlesque! I thought Benny The Elf of Truth and Des O’Connor’s were hilarious, and Craig the Incredible Hula Boy certainly lived up to his name, spinning a rainbow of hoops, dressed as Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz.
And then it was time for Frisky & Mannish – Cabaret Royalty. And they certainly didn’t disappoint. They sung a number of festive songs, including their own take on Baby it’s Cold Outside …
Noel Coward and Lily Allen (two of their popular impressions) were reunited to sing a Christmas song. And then finally the comic pop pair ended with the song that has become a 30 Dates anthem …
(I only filmed a short clip, as I wanted to sing along! and I hated the awkward feeling of filming using an iPad in a dark room!!! If you want to hear the full song, there’s a link on the post introducing the 12 Dates of Christmas)
Frisky & Mannish were as good as I expected, and Mister Mischief seemed impressed ( though not so much by the fact I knew every word of their song!). Their set felt short, but then the show was so crammed full of Cabaret fun that it was understandable – I will definitely be tracking down their next UK performance (and would highly recommend you check out some of their amazing stuff online, including a retort to Gary Barlow when he used the word ‘cabaret’ as a form of criticism on the X Factor last year!).
I loved Beyond the Christmas Cabaret and would highly recommend Cabaret for a date. The mixture of acts made it a bit less full-on than a purely burlesque date (though I would still think carefully before deciding what kind of date you want to take). I wouldn’t say it was first date territory – you can’t really talk much, unless you’re prepared to lean in and whisper lots. Some of the acts were quite risque, and you have to have a certain sense of humour to appreciate a lot of it, so I also wouldn’t necessarily recommend it for a blind date. But saying that, Mischief had never seen any form of cabaret before, and I knew nothing about his tastes or sense of humour (having obviously missed that his rude blog comments were meant to be funny!) And he clearly enjoyed it!
As for my date himself? Well Mister Mischief was a complete (pleasant!) surprise! And genuinely someone I would set up with my single friends (which isn’t something I ever thought I’d say, having read some of his misplaced comments!)
Going forward, I think I’ll just have to edit his words a bit more carefully … or at least ring him when he sends me a new blog post, and check what effect he means to cause with his words! 😉
Next Christmas Date … hopefully this Saturday! Watch this space
Miss Twenty-Nine xxx