Cat Loud, one of the home-grown Scottish cabaret stars of recent Fringes, is seeing the end of the world out in style in a new show she is bringing to Glasgow and Edinburgh next month.
To the End of the World!, a darkly funny cocktail of story and song, made its award-winning debut at London’s VAULT Festival earlier this year and sees the island lass singing her way through the inevitable forthcoming apocalypse.
“Some days it really does feel like the end is coming,” says Loud. “And I thought, what would I do if it were? I’d want to go home. But I’d want to do it in style.”
The show combines torch songs with dreamlike storytelling and features the mournful lyrics of Solomon Burke, the biting wit of Benjamin Clementine and the power of Nina Simone, with Loud accompanied by solo ‘cello.
“It’s been so lovely to see how well people have responded to this show in particular. It’s a mix of genres I call gig-theatre-cabaret, and that can be tricky, as well as the subject matter. (It really is about the end of the world.) But there’s also a lot of humour, and that’s really important. I have some serious things to say – about the environment, the way we treat each other, what we’ve wrongly prioritised in society – but it’s got to be fun.”
In London, the show won the VAULT Festival Origins Award for Outstanding New Work. In Glasgow it’s coming to Sloan’s Ballroom in the heart of the city, a venue which Loud thinks is ideal. “It’s the perfect place for performing something that is both intimate in style and expansive in its themes – there’s a real sense of history about these places, and they are the ideal setting for any work that seeks to connect with an audience and take people somewhere a little dark and enticing.”
If the end truly is nigh, we might as well end it with a song.