The Double R Club

April 25, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

As I write this I will have been in lockdown along with most of the rest of the world, for seven weeks.  What better time to reminisce?  The Double R Club is more than the some of its parts.  There are various small things that help it along, like the free shot of home made coffee vodka, the cakes and biscuits, the merchandise (some hand made), the interval games, which include the audience and that add a fun counterpoint to the dark cabaret atmosphere, and the historic grungy venue that is a home away from home with reasonable bar prices.  But that is only the surface of the night.  Add in the people.  The door girl, the second door girl, the stage manager, the tech person.  Although these people change sometimes, they are always dedicated, and in themselves interesting and glamorous.  Add in the people that go, that dress up, that enjoy something different, and you’re still not quite there.  You have to factor in too the percentage of performers that go to the night on their nights off, because its a great place to see quality cabaret, sometimes shocking, often experimental, even sometimes lacking, but you’ll still fall short in your reckoning.  Add in the custom acts, acts that performers don’t do anywhere else because they don’t fit anywhere else.  Still not the whole story.  You have to factor in the night’s producer and host, Rose and Ben, who from the beginning had a clear vision for their night with no compromise.  Ben is perhaps the best host around, or certainly the most individual, and a lot of work goes into his seemingly effortless delivery.  You are, in part, going see him at each show, he is that good.  And Rose understands the balance of a show and the format it takes throughout the year, right down to the small details of props and the yearly calendar incorporating certain special nights.  And above all that, the final ingredient, the creators don’t take themselves too seriously, which is really nice.   

When I was the official club photographer I found myself setting a routine.  I liked to get there early for three main reasons, traffic, parking but most importantly so I had time to talk to people and be involved in the set up to some degree, sometimes welcoming performers when everyone else was busy, other times being the quiet observer of preparations.  Oh and I forgot the pizza, a nice touch for for the crew and performers, meaning we didn't have to eat before getting there.  It would arrive at 5.45pm if I remember correctly.  I was often there by 5.00pm, doors were at and the show started around 9.00pm.  The show always had an interval (my smoking break) and went on til around 11pm, sometimes later because of the unpredictable length of some of the games in the first half.

Most days the show sort of snuck up on me.  By that time I had already taken many photos, and it was these photos that were often my favourite. Backstage moments, taking pictures of the door people, stage manager, early arriving performers and Rose and Ben.  Off course the show was important, but there were always several photographers that had booked tables and had a better line of site than me.  I was always very conscious of not getting in people's way, after all they had paid to see the show, they didn't need an arrogant photographer compeating with them. So I took the pictures others couldn't, the crowd, the photographers and their other halves, the regulars, the smokers, the first timers, the bar staff.

I have had a little time to dig up older photos from 2011 and 2012.  My first Double R Club was probably June 2011.  I definately became the resident photographer in January 2012. This website began in 2013 so these earlier 12 nights have never been uploaded. For those with limited patience I have collected portraits, crowd and backstage shots (and a few performance shots) from those 12 nights.  I include 60 photos here in the blog and links below them to the 2011/12 collection and the whole Double R Club Group.  Thanks for reading.  Remember these albums are for adults only, Rated 18.

Jay Macdonald. The main stagemanager before Head Girl Louise.  She's back in Australia now, married with a little girl and doing great.  We chat online from time to time.

Photos by Sin Bozkurt© Long time door girl Ruth, currently taking a break.  Video chatted just last week. She's an affectionate girl with a great sense of humour.

Second Door Girls, Emerald Fontaine and Christiana Rose.  Both one time performers and Emerald now runs her own opulent bar named Fontaine's in Dalston.

Photos by Sin Bozkurt© Louise and Yvonne, sisters.  Louise went on to be the main stage manager from sometime in 2012 after Jay returned to Australia and is the maker of the 52 card pick up girl costumes worn by the hostessess and stage assistants.  Yvonee went on to manage and hostess in later years.

Photos by Sin Bozkurt© Above is the lovely Abbi, long time second door girl, I think this is my first picture of her.  I used to give her a lift home quite often. She has a darling little boy and is a wondeful person. Then there is Rhian Kennedy and partner, now a mother, once a big help at The Double R along with her partner.  Sometimes 2nd door girl, sometime stage manager, often a guest.

Nathan Evans.  Music tech for years and writer, performer, producer and all round dark horse.  Of all the people at the Double R he took the longest to get to know. A man of few words and many accomplishments.  Check out the album to see him with his shirt off.

Miss Amelia. Author, performer, producer, and sometime stage manager. Her and her partner actually produced a show with Rose and Ben called When Worlds Collide. Great energy and always glamourous, even in a homely sweatshirt.

Photos by Sin Bozkurt© Sean (The Man) Mooney wearing the hat in the foreground is a producer, sound and light engineer, stage manager, and tech wizard that is often a big help to The Double R and a long time guest and friend.

Photos by Sin Bozkurt© Maud / Dolores was a regular help, guest, and I think sometime stage manager.  Lovely creative soul.

Tallulah Mockingbird and partner Shane. Both were always helping out or playing small charachters for the show, and tallulah was the first Miss Twin Peaks and often a judge.  She sometimes did nail art too.

Lydia Darling, a staple performer for The Double R and friend of the show. She seemed to be always around and was a Miss Twin Peaks finalist and often a judge.

Photos by Sin Bozkurt© Ava Iscariot, one time 2nd door girl and performer.  Very nice lady.

Charlotte is the venue manager and technically not part of the night.  I would often see her on ladders fixing lights.  She was camera shy so this is a rare shot.

Photos by Sin Bozkurt© This is the door guy, employed by venue.  Still, he was there as long as I can remember, lovely guy, always doing his job.  He had to keep the noise down because it was a resedential area, but he did it politely.  Always asked after me.

Rose and Ben, enough said.

Photos by Sin Bozkurt© Photos by Sin Bozkurt© Photos by Sin Bozkurt© Photos by Sin Bozkurt© Photos by Sin Bozkurt© Photos by Sin Bozkurt© Photos by Sin Bozkurt© Photos by Sin Bozkurt© Photos by Sin Bozkurt© Photos by Sin Bozkurt© Photos by Sin Bozkurt© Photos by Sin Bozkurt© Photos by Sin Bozkurt© Photos by Sin Bozkurt© Photos by Sin Bozkurt© Photos by Sin Bozkurt©

All of the above are regular guests, a few are performers, a couple of producers, a onetime 2nd door girl, a photogorapher or two, but all regulars.

That leaves 9 photos to make up the sixty.  These are all Backstage.

Photos by Sin Bozkurt© Photos by Sin Bozkurt© Photos by Sin Bozkurt©

Photos by Sin Bozkurt© If you didn't get a mention, please don't take it personally, but find yourself in the 2011/12 collection album

Or Better yet make your way to the Full Group Page a full 7 years of The Double R Club







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