Alternative Cabaret was a London-based collective of politically motivated performers central to the birth of Alternative Comedy in 1979.
On the sad news of Rik Mayall's untimely death
…in those early days of the Comedy Store, when there was a virtual war between the traditionals - the so-called mother-in-law comedians, and the new wave of ‘alternative’ comedians, plus both sets of supporters and all the undecideds in the audience, Rik Mayall with his character Rik the Poet, was one of the few acts capable of uniting the room. Rik’s tour de force parodies of the attempted radicalism that was going on all around him elicited howls of laughter from all corners. He couldn't really get angry, only very annoyed, his 'angwry' ineffective exchanges with hecklers were a pure delight; his revolutionary poems and tirades were the ditties of an insufferably petulant new recruit who made hollow threats he was incapable of following through. Rik Mayall rarely put a foot wrong and his act - an elegant comedic response to the poseurs and dilettantes also finely complimented one of the Store’s more authentic voices, Keith Allen’s starkly charismatic punk. The Keith clones - the would-be wild men of comedy queuing up to do open spots, invariably sounded more like Rik's poet when facing a drubbing from the sophisticated Comedy Store crowd
Tony Allen 10th June 2014