Kit And The Widow Cocktails

Emerging from the dark underbelly of Radio 3's jazz zone, Kit and the Widow stumble blinking into Radio 3's Saturday evening schedule with a new series that Alex Comfort might have called The Joy of Cabaret. Kit, the Widow and their guests tango with the elusive art of cabaret, exploring the funny, the tragic, the subversive, the political, and the downright weird, as they turn studio B14 into the best piano bar in town.



'In most cabaretts in France they have writ upon the walls: 'Dieu te regarde' '. When Pepys described the admonishments on the walls of French 'cabaretts' in 1662, it was still to be more than 200 years before Le Chat Noir would open in Paris to invent the idea of cabaret we know today. This evening cabaret scientists Kit and the Widow return to their laboratory in studio B14, to continue their series exploring the idea of cabaret, from the strange to the hilarious.


Today they fan the flames of cabaret in the company of Terry Neason, Scotland's international cabaret diva; and Ian Shaw, a man who, despite being thrown out of numerous school choirs, has become one of Britain's leading jazz vocalists.


This week angelic choirboys Kit and the Widow are joined by the man who coined the theme tune to the Vicar of Dibley, Howard Goodall; and Rosie Ashe breezes in as diva of the week.

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Working tirelessly in the pursuit of extended adolescence, Kit and the Widow, whirling dervishes of the cabaret circuit, throw personal safety to the winds in order to bring you their last programme in this series.

Join them in studio B14, the BBC's seamiest piano bar, for an hour's gallimaufry featuring jazz diva Jacqui Dankworth, and young cabaret sensation Harry, described by music critic Jonathan Ross as 'the greatest pianist in the civilised world'.


Back again by popular demand, Kit and the Widow return the airwaves with their own inimitable brand of Dada and dib-dib. Tonight the West End's finest welcome superb cabaret singer Barb Jungr into the bunker to perform songs by writers as diverse, and subversive, as Ray Davies, Bob Dylan, and Jacques Brel.

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Ever eager for high jinks, Kit and the Widow throw off their studio shackles and head down river for this year's Greenwich Cabaret Convention. Last February, at the Greenwich Theatre, our cabaret detectives were confronted by a stellar array of Cabaret talent, some from close to home, and others shipped across the Atlantic by the Mabel Mercer Foundation.

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Offering their unique brand of complementary therapy, this week Kit and the Widow invite Catherine Bott into the studio to cast off the straitjacket of early music, and to perform with David Owen Norris some songs from her celebration of London in song.

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With some help from Rob Burrell of the group Mann Friday, Kit and Widow spend half an hour lending an ear to some of the great political songs of the theatre.

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Earlier this year, cabaret deportees Kit and the Widow set sail for Australia, where they took part in the internationally-acclaimed Adelaide Cabaret Festival. For the first of two programmes from the festival, the tireless pair smoked out some of the festival's top names - vocalists Kaye Tuckerman and Eddie Perfect, close-harmony group Women with Standards, Belgian Jacques Brel exponents Mich en Scène, and presented them live, in a recording made specially for the BBC.

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The second of two programmes from the internationally-acclaimed Adelaide Cabaret Festival focuses on the American team of lyricist Richard Maltby and composer David Shire.


Tonight's guest with Kit and the Widow is the celebrated American soprano Maria Ewing, who talks about her passion for cabaret, and performs Jule Steyne's People, Bewitched from Pal Joey, and The Man that got away by Harold Arlen.

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To bring this series to a rousing conclusion, today Kit and the Widow welcome a sparkling array of talent into the Cocktails studio, including singer Liz Robertson, Radio 3's poet-in-residence Mario Petrucci, and, just in from Manhattan, composer, pianist, song-writer, and singer Sir Richard Rodney Bennett.


Kit and the Widow return for another series of all that is good, nutritious and wholesome from the world of cabaret.

They are joined by comedienne Joan Rivers, Izzy Van Randwyck and Dominic Tighe


Last February at the Greenwich Theatre, as part of their 'Musical Voices' season, the London Cabaret Convention took place.

Compered by Kit and the Widow, the event featured a feast of cabaret talent including Eva Meier, Caroline Nin, Jane Bombane, Barb Jungr, Dilly Keane, Harry, Phil Jeays, and Mike Sanchez.

Join Kit and the Widow for what one critic called the cabaret event of the year.

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Kit, the Widow and their guests explore the art of cabaret.

They focus on the Boyle family, who specialise in random visits to cabaret spots before re-creating them.

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As the rumbling of distant drums presages the opening of this year's Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Kit and the Widow flick through the programme to suggest a few of the cabaret highlights on show this year.


Fresh from the challenge of translating La Belle Helene, Kit Hesketh-harvey is in a truly Gallic mood, taking the Widow on a cabaret foray to Paris.


Kit and the Widow explore storytelling and the ballad, a rich and colourful area of cabaret.

With guests Paul Hull, Stephen Barlow and Joanna Lumley.

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Cabaret sleuths Kit and the Widow take to the streets and seedy dives of Edinburgh for a report from this year's Fringe.

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Fresh from performing Tomfoolery at Edinburgh, Kit and the Widow pay tribute to American 'creative genius' Tom Lehrer

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Casting a glance towards this year's nautical theme at the Proms, Kit and the Widow conclude their summer season with a rowdy studio gathering to raise a glass to the Last Night.