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Bernie Dieter's Club Kabarett (NSW)

Host Emcee and Musical Direction by Bernie Dieter

Club Kabarett' is an intimate, engaging and sensual celebration of creative and sexual freedom and non-conformity

Reviewed by Claira Prider

Sydney Spiegeltent, The Entertainment Quarter

Until 28th July, 2024

With her crew of dizzying, spectacular, titillating performers, Bernie Dieter’s back in the Sydney Spiegeltent with her multi-award-winning-show Club Kabarett. Oozing punk glam sex goddess vibes, German born Bernie Dieter, queen of punk cabaret is described as an electrifying mix of Marlene Dietrich, Lady Gaga and Frank N Furter.

After WWI in Weimar Germany, strictly enforced entertainment censoring which banned work that promoted bawdy humour, provocative dancing or political satire was lifted, and German Cabaret (Kabarett) blossomed. Known for being vibrant, decadent, comedic and laced with sexual innuendo, the liberation of the genre also came with the liberation of the audience. Gay and cross-dressing patrons who used to have to conceal their sexuality were able to discuss and display their identity more freely.

Club Kabarett epitomises the idea that art is about human connection and this show is a place where the (extremely talented) weird and wonderful are not only welcome, but celebrated.

As the seats begin to fill, Club Kabarett performers work the floor, engaging with audience members to get everyone warmed up for Bernie’s arrival. Facilitating underground club vibes with hazy, red hues of light, her three-piece band begin to play punk rock covers and original tunes as the lights go down. In ripped fishnets, sequins, feathers, studs and spikes, Bernie opens the show with a seriously sultry cover of the Beatles' ‘Come Together’.

Operating as hostess, performer and risqué human jukebox, Bernie seamlessly switches between wholesome and horny, from discussing the power in connection that live performance brings one minute, to having her thighs stroked as she’s carried onto stage by a trio of strapping audience members the next.

Berne Dieter's Club Kabarett. Photos by Craig Sugden

When talking about the importance of live performance (especially after lockdowns) Bernie says “What’s really at the heart of every show is human connection. Being in a room full of humans laughing, drinking together and sharing the experience that is happening just for us, you can really feel it in the room and it brings the show to a whole new level.” (Scenestr)

And on a whole new level is exactly what Club Kabarett is. Bella Diosa starts off hot with her fire eating routine, followed by a hair-raising suspended acrobatic spot which I kept finding myself watching through my fingers. Reuben Helfenbaum has everyone holding their breaths with his sky-high hand balancing spot while contortionist Soliana Ersie has the audience squirming in disbelief as she folds and twists and contorts her body like a pretzel. Mr Pole World 2022 winner Blue Phoenix seduces and wows the crowd with his back bending (and mind bending) suspended acrobatic pole routine, and Lisa Lottie charms the room with her physical comedy and mesmerising hula hoops. Joe Keeley rounds out this elite cast, defying gravity with his gasp-inducing aerial silks routine.

Bernie winds down the show with a pared back version of Radiohead's 'Fake Plastic Trees' with the band. As she sits at the front of the stage, after non-stop, high energy numbers, this ballad really allows you to stop and appreciate the artistic prowess of Bernie Dieter and the musical chemistry she has with her musicians. “The band is the beating heart of the show. When we perform live, it’s really like a duet; you’re responding to what’s happening live in the room and people feel that,” she says (Scenestr).

I love looking at the faces of other audience members during shows like this - as I look around the room I see pure unadulterated joy, delight, shock, exhilaration, thrill and awe.

Bernie’s shows are known for platforming artists of extreme talent and creativity who push the boundaries in their genres, and Club Kabarett is no different. Let your hair down, grab a cocktail and get ready for a mind blowing, tantalising, rowdy night of fun at Bernie Dieter's Club Kabarett.






BASS - Joe Southwell

GUITAR - Leon Todorovich

DRUMS - Lisa Martin


AERIALIST - Joe Keeley



HULA HOOP - Lisa Lottie

HAND BALANCE ACROBAT - Reuben Helfenbaum



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