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Published September 28th 2011
Tuxedo Cat is a little bit off-putting when you finally find the single doorway leading down to a dark underground hall, which is reminiscent of something out of "Saw". Don't let that, or the thought of rats maybe popping out of the walls put you off. I did have some strange thoughts walking down the hallway entrance but it lead me to a very cute and intimate bar that has a clear and present soul. The point of the Tuxedo Cat is to have a space for Fringe Festival shows (very Melbourne) as well as a space for up and coming comedians and other entertainers.
They set up a really relaxed bar and seating where you do feel like you've found a secret little spot where you might discover "the next big thing". Well, that's what you hope anyway. Sometimes they don't get the most polished acts but all the same it adds to the raw vibe and "old school" breath of fresh air where occasionally interesting characters are drawn to such a place. Perhaps, they thought it would be a place to buy drugs and were surprised at what they found?
Melbourne is all about supporting young artists and if you're into seeing some young talents give it a go, than Tuxedo Cat is a great avenue for you. I definitely enjoyed the young stand-up comedians who all joked about how they get used to performing in front of "occasionally no-one but my mum". There's something very genuine about these acts in such an intimate setting. You are able to get involved in the show, unlike when seeing someone at the larger theatres where you might be lucky to be able to see the outline of their face.
There's definitely a strong heartbeat at Tuxedo Cat and if you have the guts to go down the somewhat scary entrance then you might be surprised at what you will find. I sure was and am better off for it - and I was not there to buy drugs either, if that's what you're thinking!