By Claire Cooke, Simone Pyne
The Smoking Cabinet is a festival of short films covering the time period in which cabaret / burlesque /music hall were at their most popular. These forms emerged in the late 19th century and promptly spread through both Europe and the US becoming principal forms of popular entertainment. The programme therefore starts at the birth of film in 1894/5, tracing innovation across various cities in western Europe until 1933, the year in which a fire tour though the Reichstag, the Nazis took control of Germany and the Reich Culture Chamber was established. All these events had a serve impact on the lives of European citizens and, or course, the tone and content of the forms of entertainment they consumed.