Stay at Home with Crazy Coqs
Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 7 pm during the lockdown.
Building magazine in May 1935 described the art deco interiors of what was then The Regent Palace Hotel as “just a trifle dissipated and naughty, but not sufficiently so to be vulgar”.
That spirit has lived on since it became the Brasserie Zédel complex in 2012, complete with The Crazy Coqs performance space in what was once a billiard room and is silently gathering dust for the duration of the coronavirus lockdown.
For those suffering withdrawal symptoms, Stay at Home with Crazy Coqs is providing a thrice-weekly fix on YouTube as some of its regular artists post recordings from their homes or reissue previous Crazy Coqs performances that hark back to those crazy times when we crowded into the cosy 80-seat space for a collective experience.
In the age of the novel coronavirus, the sight of performers within sneezing distance of other people is almost shocking.
As always, her finger absolutely on the pulse, Melinda Hughes turns her satirical and musical talents to singing from her bedroom My Socially Responsible Love, written by her long-time collaborator Jeremy Limb.
Raising the possibility conventional romantic love has been consigned to the past now fever is a source of dread rather than an emotional surge, Hughes is accompanied by a guitar player two metres away and wearing a mask.
That’s coming soon to a screen near you. So far, the Crazy Coqs YouTube offerings have included the broad comedy of Bounder & Cad taking hilarious liberties with La Donna e Mobile – or as they have it, Woman and her Mobile – and Westdal & Hayward, two women of a certain age, who send up the tyrannical pressure to be body perfect to The Sound of Music (Muscle).
We’ve also enjoyed actress Sandy Walsh singing songs from the shows and in conversation with broadcaster Robin Lustig, who regales us with revelations of what the producer really says into the presenter’s earpiece, as well as freely confessing that journalism is “a daft way to earn a living”.
For now, at least, it’s considerably easier than being one of the countless pent-up performers for whom lockdown is torture because they thrive on audience interaction that no amount of live Tweeting can replicate.
Happy as I am to dip into the YouTube snippets for a hint of all the fun we’re missing, the whole point of a night out at The Crazy Coqs is that it is a night out and we live in hope the curtain will rise again soon.
Barbara Lewis © 2020.