Q&A with Charlie Bicknell, Cabaret With Balls


From Flashdance to Simon and Garfunkel via Tim Minchin, AC/DC and even a throw-back to Not the Nine O Clock News, Charlie Bicknell and Louise Innes embark on a new show with their own inimitable mash of the irreverent and surreal. Cabaret with Balls is a refreshing departure from real life and an arrival at the conclusion that it’s all b******s anyway.

Here, Charlie explains more as she answers a few of our questions...

You’ve played Lighthouse before, but for those who’ve not yet had the pleasure, what should the audience expect…? 

It’s best really not to come with any expectations, we surprise ourselves half of the time. Surprise is very much a part of the shows, this one in particular.

One thing I will say is that it will make you laugh, whether that is with sheer horror or mirth is another thing altogether. The Balls show is a little outrageous and goes up to ‘the line’ without actually crossing it, it involves re-writes of well known songs, new and relevant to the ‘now’ material, radio broadcasts on ‘Back Row’ and a some inventive choreography.

I can’t say more without giving the game away.  

How did Cabaret With Balls come about – didn’t Charlie die laughing in a previous incarnation?

Charlie is actually an alien – don’t tell too many people – she (or ‘it’ as is really the case) prefers a balloon environment and can live or die at will so long as she is fed copious amounts of yogurt.  

How do you train for a show as physical as this; and then keep it up on tour? 

I’m an addict. I teach many, many students aerial silks and acrobalance and in doing so have them do a hideous amount of press ups and the like and join in.  

What’s a good night for Cabaret With Balls? How involved can audiences get? What do you get from the audience? 

The audience are everything. They literally are what lights the fuse – we can tell from the opening bars if they are up for a good time, and thus far they always have been. Then it just flies, there are two or three moments where we have audience members up, it is always different, always funny and always unpredictable.

What’s next for Cabaret With Balls; and any clues for the next show? 

This show will go where ever is brave enough to have us and then the new Christmas show will kick off for a very limited December run… it will be sure to feature some of the classics – we are even planning to squeeze Die Hard, Love Actually and Mariah Carey in there this year.

Thanks, Charlie.

:: Cabaret With Balls plays Lighthouse on Saturday 20 July. Tickets available now at https://www.lighthousepoole.co.uk/event/caberet-with-balls/