MY FIRST VISIT TO A BURLESQUE NIGHT.

 

            I went to a Burlesque show on February 11th, 2007 at Manchester’s Tiger Lounge. I’m a regular customer at the bar, and though they have hosted these increasingly popular events before, this was a first for me. I have to say I was impressed.  More shows followed, at Tiger Lounge and other venues. The reviews index can be seen here /burlesque.contents.htm. 

            This was no tacky stag night ‘get ‘’em off’ strip show, but carefully choreographed performance art with a sharp erotic edge. The ladies, with names like Fanny Divine, Ruby Fortune, Dolly Mae & Daison Merriere, came from Angel Cake Burlesque www.burlesquebeauties.co.uk.

Too many modern strip shows forget the element of ‘tease’ as they cater for an audience who have no patience for anything but instant total gratification. The ladies of Angel Cake redress the balance without forgetting to undress themselves. They slowly stripped down to tassels and panties, in some very imaginative short dance routines.  The best to my mind was the last dance, in which the girl, dressed as an alluring Ally Cat, with painted whiskers, and a furry tail, rummaged and cavorted in several ‘clean’ rubbish bags until she found a carton of milk, which she both drank and poured over herself in very alluring ways before removing her wet corsetry to music from The Aristocats.

            The girls were stunning as can only be expected. Surprisingly more girls were watching than men, which I hadn’t expected.

            This was strong evidence that the revival of Burlesque performance art as championed, promoted and popularised by Denise Von Teeze, former wife of rock star Marilyn Manson, is now well under way. There was a very 1950’s feel to the event. The ultra-cool Tiger Lounge setting with its portraits of Bettie Page and plush ‘fake’ tiger-skin hangings décor helped this.  The one thing missing from the traditional. ‘Burlesque’ shows were crap comedians.  It was a common thing in US style Burlesque for the dancing girl sets to be broken up by appearances by dire comedians, who’s job was to drive customers away to get their drinks in between acts. Any comedian capable of getting a laugh or attention was quickly fired.

At Tiger lounge, the support act was, by contrast, an excellent rock band, The Straight Jackets, who played a terrific thirty-minute set, though in a relatively small cozy bar like Tiger Lounge getting served was no challenge anyhow. Other music was provided by young DJ Liam Revenge who was also great. 

            The atmosphere was terrific, with many girls in attendance dressing in stunning sexy and daring outfits of their own – the best two were singled out by the MC and awarded bottles of Champaign. 

            All in all, a hugely enjoyable night of good clean. Mucky’ fun.

 

Arthur Chappell

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