If you’ve not encountered him before, Frank Sanazi is a purveyor of what’s been termed extreme cabaret; in his case a cocktail of 1950s lounge crooning spiked with jokes about Nazism. The material is designed to make you wince and waver even as you laugh. Rat Pack numbers are given a dictatorial twist and his hand is forever twitching in a barely suppressed Nazi salute.
Perhaps not surprisingly, Frank’s brought an army with him and his variety night features a disco Jesus, an appearance by his daughter, Nancy Sanazi - a giggling Californian blonde with an explosive, borderline psychotic temper and a riding crop - and a musical skit about a sexually frustrated Anne Frank that takes any residual notion of good taste and tramples it underfoot.
It’s all horribly, horribly wrong and yet you do find yourself laughing. Frank has a polished, powerful voice and does a fair impersonation of Sinatra, even if his reworked songs – Mein Way, Strangers on My Flight – are essentially one-joke numbers. But then the whole act revolves around one gag, though it’s always acutely aware of the places it is pushing you, of the necessity of silliness in the face of evil, of laughter as a weapon.