BZ Interviews
Spotlight on: Marcel Lucont

This irascible performer is a much-loved fixture at Crazy Coqs. Along with his Cabaret Fantastique, the entertainer has been captivating us with a dry wit and a dry white through an unusual combination of comedy, music, poetry and circus for nearly a decade. And fun fact: Marcel studied Le Jeu and Clowning at École Philippe Gaulier under master clown Philippe Gaulier.

Marcel, you’ve been here a long time now. What made you choose to settle in our great capital?

We often call London the “sixth largest city of France” as so many French are living here; that certainly takes the edge off hearing a Cockney accent – knowing a reassuringly rolling French voice should not be too far away, wafting through the air like perfume through a sock.

And what do you like about the UK in general? We’re sure you’ve some keen observations…

For one who deals in observational and topical material, Britain is currently a bountiful resource and has been for some time, hence my extended stay. So many times, the jokes almost write themselves, making my job simpler. And it fascinates me that, given everything that your governments and multiple recent Prime Ministers have thrown at you, there is never any sign of a revolution, just more tutting. In France, the country was brought to a halt – and rightly so – over a retirement age increase of two years. I think if our government had attempted even half the misdemeanours of yours, Madame Guillotine would be staging a comeback tour.

Any interesting life lessons that the Brits have taught you?

A Brit will accept that many aspects of their country and culture are awful, even using it as a form of bonding, but this judgment must only be voiced by another Brit – otherwise great offence is taken.

And what do you think you might have given to us in return?

Where to start? The songs! The poems! The florid observations! I have held up a mirror to your ruddied faces – whether you choose to learn from my teachings is your choice. You have already detached yourself from Europe politically, perhaps consider how that’s going and base your judgment on that.

You’ve been bringing your French ‘charm’ to us for many years now – what do you enjoy about performing at Crazy Coqs?

What’s not to love about a subterranean art deco cabaret den in Soho with an adjacent brasserie and bar and a fine selection of French wines and spirits?

How do British audiences differ from French?

French audiences are very discerning, so, while it is great to feel that sense of achievement from truly entertaining them, sometimes one craves a simpler mission. One only needs to observe the constant deployment by the Brits of the double-entendre (a French invention we have less use for ourselves) to see the simplicity of British humour.

What have been your most memorable evenings here at Crazy Coqs over the years?

A recent memorable moment involved a performer’s exploding breasts (don’t worry, it was part of the act). The breasts in question provided a lot more fire and smoke than anyone was expecting (perhaps even the performer herself) and I am certain we were not far from a full venue evacuation. In future, I shall take it upon myself to carefully examine any breasts before the show, explosive or otherwise, just to be safe. Other highlights include a clown on a unicycle jumping on a skipping rope (a remarkable accomplishment given the stage size), an audience member making good on their claim they could play a piano backwards and another audience member having a crossbow fired at him by a German woman’s feet; she was doing a handstand at the time.

What can we expect from our friend Marcel next?

I shall finally be releasing my podcast later in the year, “Marcel Lucont’s Whine List,” if only to stop people constantly demanding this of me. I am also heading to the U.S. later in the year in an attempt to bring culture their way. Having made a few forays over there in recent years, I have even more work to do on that front than I had initially feared.