Biography

Dusty Limits, also known as Dorian Black, is a singer, comic, actor, writer and director and one of the most celebrated figures on the 'new cabaret' scene. He performs everything from Cole Porter to Portishead, Tom Lehrer to Tom Waits, along with his own compelling original songs written with long-time collaborator Michael Roulston, which explore themes of mortality, addiction and the futility of love. Usually for laughs. Based in London, he has performed at cabarets and clubs around the world, in New York, Berlin and Dublin, all over the UK and Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

He was a cover model for Time Out London's special edition dedicated to the stars of contemporary cabaret, in which he was described as 'The Trailblazer'. He has been at the forefront of the world of neo-cabaret for over a decade, producing such ground breaking shows as KUNST at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern. He has performed at every Edinburgh Fringe since 2003 and hosted the legendary Bongo Club Cabaret many times. He has enjoyed residencies at the Café de Paris, Royal Vauxhall Tavern, Savoy Hotel and Café Royal and has shared the stage with great cabaret artists such as David Hoyle, Amanda Palmer, Meow Meow, Sxip Shirey and Polly Rae.

He is noted for his powerful voice, three-octave range and brilliance as an interpreter of song, especially the repertoire of the Weimar era, the works of Brel and Weill, and such songsmiths as Bowie, Waits and Mitchell.

He was Director of the Black Cat Cabaret at the Cafe de Paris, which garnered huge praise for its innovative combination of a flowing structure with elements of narrative, its bold use of classical and archetypal references (inspired by Offenbach's 'Orphée aux Enfers') and Vicky Butterfly's exquisite styling. It sold out every Friday throughout 2013 and won the London Cabaret Award for 'Best Production'.  He directed and hosted the new incarnation of the show which took place at the London Wonderground on the South Bank throughout the summer of 2014. 

He is also a hugely experienced compère, winning the London Cabaret Award for 'Best Host/Compère' in 2012, 2013 and 2015 (the only person ever to win three London Cabaret Awards in a single category), and he has taught his workshop, 'The Art of the Compère' in the UK, Eire and New Zealand.

Dusty is also a voice and performance coach, writer, actor and theatre director and has taught and directed at the Central School of Speech and Drama. He has featured in numerous publications covering the resurgence of cabaret (most notably Newsweek, in which he appeared alongside Michael Feinstein and Ute Lemper).

He has also been interviewed on BBC Radio and Alan Titchmarsh discussing the history of cabaret and its present incarnations. He firmly believes in the transformative power of art and he thinks this current era of London cabaret is up there with 19th century Paris, Weimar Berlin and 50s New York for its historical significance.