London may be luminous with festive lights, but none was able to outshine Dolly Diamond as she glided into the FANZA Christmas party in a glittering golden gown.
At Fitzrovia hotspot, Where the Pancakes Are, the cabaret diva from Melbourne was joined by a throng of revellers celebrating the launch the FANZA festival: a programme of cultural events featuring artists and performers from Australia and the UK to complement the UK/Australia Season of Culture 2021/2022.
The evening kicked off with guests including best-selling novelist, Kathy Lette – our arts patron – and Middlesex cricket star, Stephen Eskinazi, mingling on the ground floor while sipping delicious cocktails by the Christmas tree.
They then headed upstairs for Dolly’s performance, taking their seats at beautifully decorated tables on which lay a sumptuous spread of blinis, smoked salmon and crème fresh.
‘It’s so exciting to move all the way from Melbourne to be in London surrounded by people from Australia,’ Dolly joked on stage, before reminding everyone about the important work that FANZA does.
‘FANZA supports the arts, and the arts have suffered massively over the last couple years – although it wasn’t doing that well before! It has been very, very difficult. Thank you to everyone for coming along – it means the world.’
She proceeded to sing L-O-V-E by Nat King Cole, Que Sera Sera, songs from the musical Oliver!, and Jingle Bells. The joyous crowd was so disappointed when her set came to an end that they called for an encore – at which point Dolly then burst into a mesmerising rendition of Money, Money, Money by ABBA.