First, London swiped the Olympics from Paris. Now producer Harvey Goldsmith has lured the Crazy Horse, its most iconic semi-nude cabaret, to the capital. And does he know how to put on a show.
A scene from Forever Crazy at the Crazy Horse, London Photo: Antoine Poupel
Obviously, the spiegeltent setting, however chic, is never going to quite capture the intimate confines of its natural home in a series of Parisian cellars. The legendary atmosphere and historic surroundings are missing, and without the low ceiling the tiny letterbox stage is unexplained.
But this show is all about the dancers; their elegant curves and stunning legs. There cannot be any more seductive or beautiful women on the planet, and Forever Crazy, a sort of ‘best of’ from the venue’s 60-year archive, showcases them to perfection.
Exquisitely lit, it includes many classics by the nightspot’s founder Alain Bernardin, such as the stylish and mysterious Peek a Boo, which amounts to little more than slinky walking - but what walking - and signature number Baby Buns, which features their enviable derrieres. But Chain Gang, with Yafa Yemalla - the only non-white dancer - cavorting sexily to tribal beats in a cage, is discomforting.
Desir, directed by Philippe Decoufle, provides other, more modern, numbers. These include the sumptuous Crisis! What Crisis? when Taina de Bermudes, one of two British dancers - the other being the spectacular Mia Boum Boum - performs a striptease taking her from prim secretary to voluptuous minx.
So forget Paris, this is Crazy Horse London-style, given added edge by speciality act Up and Over It. Surrender as its sirens put a spell on you.