I prefer non-student events when going to Manchester. Firstly because I have done it all before and now I am a mature young lady. YEAH RIGHT!
Birdcage is one of them places where you know you have had the best night of your life but can't remember the next morning. Never mind.
So if you are considering going, I may as well give you some advice before your forget the whole night:
1. Pre-book - if you dont book a table then you are going to be stood up all night and its always busy. By busy I mean rammed. So get a table if a group of you are going. I am small and didn't book a table and practically got trampled on and I could not see the stage.
2. Good Luck getting a drink if you are standing. Thats all I can say.
It is a fantastic night out no matter when you go. It is hilarious and so much fun. Its all classic music that will have you bopping around. The atmosphere is electric and there is no other place around here that can top this one.
As the other half of a guitarist who not only participates in session work but has also been known to engage in the odd cabaret gig (see my Witchwood review for more insider information about the music industry and how cabaret gigs are the biggest earner), I've seen my fair share of social clubs. There's some live music, maybe a bit of a show, maybe even some men dressed as ladies or a comedian who berates the audience. Ladies and gentlemen, the Birdcage is a giant glossy social club. A social club it's acceptable to go to when you're under the age of sixty.
Now, if you've ever found yourself in an actual social club, like Miss X and I did on many occasions when we were bored and used to hop-in-the-van-with-the-band to 'show our support', you'll know how cheap the drinks are. But the Birdcage has amped up the vamp and created a 'unique nightclub and cabaret experience' in a marvellousy tacky, space-agey setting that actually reminds me of one of the larger social clubs I attended back in the day, this time with the blonde... a vast, freezing emporium of a place in Yorkshire usually resigned to Bingo, which looked like a cross between the set of Star Trek and Peter Stringfellow's boudoir. It also means I still regret to this day likening a woman's dance moves to 'a sack of potatoes falling down the stairs'. No... evidently I don't, because this statement still makes me chuckle. And her boobies were nearly falling out so she was fair game.
I digress! I'm meant to be talking about the Birdcage, which also looks like the result of Peter Stringfellow's decorator becoming obsessed with a Star Trek DVD boxset. Anyhoo, technically I'm totally on the fence about the Birdcage. Not the film with Robin Williams and Nathan Lane based on the cult classic 70s play La Cage aux Folles, I'm never on the fence about that, it's great. The issue I have is that the joy of social clubs is partly in their lowbrow demeanour, their working class blue-collar down-to-earth...ness. With the Birdcage they seem to have placed a great deal of focus on exclusivity. I was in a group, so there was little problem, but with the VIP areas and the strict dress code, it's like Widnes Conservative Club meets Movida. Which is one heck of a confusing combo.
It's something everyone should witness at least once - entertainment at its most traditional and an added touch of Vegas, with dancing drag queens, feathers everywhere and scantily clad ladies on stilts. And maybe that 'just once' should be something of a policy, because I've not found myself hankering to return. But do give it a sample.
I must go to the Birdcage to see one of their drag/showgirl cabaret shows on Fridays and Saturdays: I have been to their Rehab night on a Wednesday and it really just does what it says on the tin.
It's cheap, there's lots of students and danceable pop and RnB music. Not music that you would listen to in your own bedroom, say, but once you've had a few vodka mixers music that you love.
Towards the end of the night, for instance, you may find yourself hands on the mirrored wall with a friend dancing like you're being paid, if you get my meaning. And you know that in your head you are taking the mick out of a girl you just saw doing exactly this: but no-one else does. Hmm.
It does have a bit more character here than the usual (think Tiger Tiger): the seated booths (supposedly reserved but when has that ever stopped us?) and at one point what looked like a giant sparkler behind the DJ.
It wears it's heart on it's sleeve does the Birdcage. They even have cabaret tributes on Fridays: Cher, Abba etc. If only more of their Silly Glamour was to be seen on Wednesdays..
Oh and it might sound obvious but get here before eleven/ half eleven. The queues were horrendous and it wasn't even term time. Imagine what freshers week would be like *shudders*...
For all your men in tights and suspenders needs.
It's not even the obvious about this place that bothers me, it's tediousness of how every guy who puts a dress on thinks he's 'a real character'- it's almost as uniform as a business suit.
Life is not 'a cabaret' and Lisa Minelli is an idiot.
I am sorry guys but this place is just plain tacky. I am not the biggest fan of cabaret nights I must admit but after visiting Birdcage I realise its as much the place as it is the concept.
I have got acquaintances that raved about Birdcage so I was rather disappointed. I suppose if there is a group of yo who love showgirl/drags nights then this is the place to me but I FELT LIKE i was on some cruise ship counting down the minutes until we arrived at our destination....although their was no destination and I left to a cold night in Manchester.
Part of Manchester's famous Arndale Centre, The Birdcage is a camp, extrovert must for any hen night. By far a predominantly female clientele, in fact I don't think there was a scent of testosterone when I went with four fab friends.
We pre-booked a table, this is compulsory if you want to watch the show, and what a show it is! This is transvestite burlesque at its best with fabulous men in moulin rouge outfits - very Priscilla Queen of the Desert"! The artists perform well choreographed dance routines to every hair brush classic imaginable: Abba, MCA, Madonna and cheesy girlie tracks.
The atmosphere is inebriated women of all ages, delectable bar men and the overall ambience is disco tastic! The show is repeated throughout the night and in between performances we danced around our handbags.
Inhibitions are lost in The Birdcage, this is a true ladies' let your hair down night. The entry fee( we paid £10) is balanced by reasonably priced drinks. If you wish to party with the fairer sex, put on your sequins and shine in The Birdcage. You won't find your Prince Charming but you will discover your inner Party Princess!
I used to like this place alot. First year it was the craze, every wednesday night this used to be the place to dive in to!
This is a fairly great club! It's huge and well designed. The most popular is of course the Rehab night which still pulls alot of crowd, mainly fresher's crowd.
They also have the very famous cabaret gigs which attract alot of corporate crowd and of course earns them their share of profits.
The entry fee to club nights is not much from £8 to £10 and just a fiver on a student night.
So if you're looking for a great night out, Birdcage is not going to be a bad option!
Like most people i went here for a hen night in 2007. It is a totally fab club. They have stage perfomers in drag that do singing and dancing acts every hour or so on stage. They alos had people dressed and walking around on stilts and male pole dancers. The atmosphere is so over the top but as i said i was on a hen night so it just fitted. The drinks where no more expensive than anywhere else and i found there were no excessive que to get to the bar either.
I must say the toilets are totally cool in there , not that it matters because there only toilets but it just made the night abit more special. I paid about 10.00 or so to get in so i think that is fairly reasonable.
I went here for my friend's birthday a while ago because her friend recommended it. Why she recommended this place to us I will never know. We went on a Wednesday which is supposed to be the student night. My arse was it a student night! The entry was what £5 (I know it's the average entry price in MCR but I have never paid that much to get in somewhere on a Wednesday or on a student night). The drinks were disgustingly expensive (I got charged £3.80 for a Southern Comfort and lemonade and £4.30 for a bottle of Kopparberg!) I mean it's a student night so why charge that much? Seriously?! When I was at the bar waiting to get a drink, I was trying to get served and one of the barmen took my money off me without getting me my drink. When he came back, I had a go at him asking me why he took my money and walked off and he was like: Don't flash your money in my face then you stupid b*tch! I can assure you I did not do that at all. I don't do that sort of thing when trying to get a drink at the bar because it's rude. He then gave me my money back so I then called him a few not so nice names, walked away and walked out of the bar and went home.
In regards to the music, they kept remixing loads of songs and they were all to be honest, crap. I am mostly into rock/metal but when I go out, I don't mind listening to dance but the music they were playing was shocking and I don't think the DJ knew what he/she was doing.
I haven't been back since and I don't intend to anytime soon. I have also told people to avoid this place as well as there are better places to go to on a Wednesday night that are more student friendly like 5th Ave (I don't like that place very much but it's better than Birdcage) or Deansgate Locks (Missoula in particular, I had a really good time in there when I last went on a Wednesday).
Birdcage is just the same as tiger tiger, the drinks are still just a rip off and the same kind of people are attracted, they just seem to transfer between the two clubs across the road by osmosis. Very much a closed reality of clubbing in Manchester. Again see tiger tiger review and avoid like the rage virus.
This was an amazing pub/club. It had live cabaret act, which was hilarious. Men pole dancing and a drag queen, a good way to start your night out. They take your photo as you go in the door which was good to keep as a souvenir. The only down side is, we are used to paying £8 for a jug of cocktail and at £25 for a small jug of sex on the beach this was a bit out of our price range :O. Other drinks were dirt cheap though. Good place to go if you really want to have a fun night out. Would go back again if I was ever in Manchester.
This is a great night out if you are in a big group. we went on a works night out and had a really good night. You have to pay extra if you want a table near the stage. However,we just got there early and got a table just off the dancefloor,which was perfect. When the drag show is on.the doormen move people who are restricting your view. The shows are about every hour with disco inbetween. The music is typical cheesy musicjust the ticket for a girls night out!!
If you're looking for a fun night out, I can definitely recommend the Birdcage. I went for the first time last year and it was brilliant. We booked a table which is £15 per person, you might think this steep as it doesn't include any drinks but when you're in one place for at least four hours, you're going to need a rest.
The night is split up into acts by the performers and a disco so you can dance. They even have poles so if you want to try pole dancing, now's your chance!
I believe you can also eat there but we've never done that so can't comment on it.
I've always found the atmosphere brilliant, everybody is just there for a good time.
They do have a strict dresscode and they won't let you in if you are really drunk or if there's a big group of men.
Went to a couple of hen do's here
Great night - if you like cheese!
And fortunately for a hen do this was great.
Great music for all ages to dance to, great show, and drinks not too expensive - we paid a bit extra to avoid the queue - worth it!
Whatever you're expecting before you arrive at the Birdcage just outside the Printworks in the heart of Manchester city centre, the inside of Birdcage and the antics that will undoubtedly occur definitely make this a brilliant place for a night out.
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