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Sylvia Dow has worked as a cabby in the Capital for more than ten years and described it as the “best job” she’s ever had.
When lockdown hit the 46-year-old found herself unable to take her usual fares and struggled with the lack of work available during the pandemic.
Always one to look for the positives, Ms Dow set up a quirky new business from her home near the Pentlands, hoping to inject some fun back into the industry she loves.
Newly launched Cab-arette will offer musical tours of the city, led by Ms Dow’s alter-ego Lola, who is a larger-than-life woman with a fondness for theatre.
Lola’s stage will take the form of a black taxicab, decked out with red paint, disco balls and glitter.
“Because of everything we have all gone through I just want to give everyone a laugh and lift their spirits,” said Ms Dow.
“Someone bizarrely dressed and singing as they pass you in the street can't help but make people smile.
“I’ve not been trained or gone to theatre school but I have always enjoyed putting on an accent and being silly, that’s where this show comes from.”
What to expect from the show
With traditional cabaret at the heart of the show, there is song, drama, dance innuendo and hilarity.
Once the frilly black and red curtains go up, you will be fully immersed in the most original taxi-ride of your life.
Lola, festooned in red feather boas, will greet you at the start of the tour and four other girls will put in an appearance along the way as they take you around the city. As soon as you get into the taxi, you are part of the show.
Each of the five characters has their own well-known song with clever, some, hilariously rescripted words. All have their unique take on life, which they are keen to share with you.
Lola might treat you to a dance at Flodden Wall. And be prepared to get noticed as Geraldine the semi-retired nun, drives you down the Royal Mile in a taxi adorned with red feathers and eyelashes.
The future is bright for Lola and the Girls
Having launched the Cab-arette shortly before the start of the UK lockdown, Ms Dow has now decided to take the leap and stop driving taxis to focus on what she loves to do most.
She has plans for future shows including literary and murder mystery tours and an ‘escape the taxi’ game.
But for now, she can’t wait to get Lola and the Girls, fully on the road entertaining as many people as possible.
Always at the heart of Sylvia’s act is the desire to share fun and to lift people’s spirits. After the last 16 months she said: “now more than ever, that’s exactly what we all need”.