The venue was deceptively quiet until shortly after the doors opened, but Bookbinders quickly filled up nicely. The bar was nicely seasonally decorated, without being buried under too much tinsel and glitter. A veritable Christmas party theme ran throughout the last burlesque show of the year for Slippery Belle.  With most Manchester city centre bars proving to be extremely busy, it was good to see so many people sacrificing the usual office ‘let’s spend our Christmas wages ‘ pub crawl to attend this lovely event. DR. SID played several 1840;s and 1950’s lounge music and jazz classics before the show began in earnest.


First to the stage was our Maid the evening, WILLOW BLUE, in a white Santa’s little helper dress, complete with LED fairy lights. Willow introduced our compeer, ROSIE LUGOSI. Rosie, who we were ‘encouraged’ to say ‘Yes Mistress’ to at every opportunity, as her devoted minions, was in full Gothic pantomime mood, and insisted on being booed and hissed at as an evil vampire Dom queen, clearly relishing in the role throughout. There was lots of shouting of ‘Oh yes there is – Oh No there isn’t’, and risqué jokes about Dick Whittington. As ever she was unrepentantly beastly to the maid, though Willow was the perfect foil, and often mischievously defiant. They made an excellent double act.


ACACIA SWEET was the first performer to be introduced and approached the stage dressed as an elf, in stripey leggings, and a red gown, dancing to Be My Baby.


Sweden’s EVE D'EMERALDE was next, performing as The Grinch who had nothing to wear to go out stealing Christmas with.


SUZIE SEQUIN performed a startling reverse tease, arriving on the stage as close to nude as possible, to dress in perfect rythmic dance to a quick temp beat.


THE DAGGER DAMES, a delightful trio of performers I last saw at the LEEDS EROTICA FESTIVAL, danced to Mr. Sandman, tearing away each other nightwear, and then having a pillow fight, covering the stage in feathers, as the pillows split.


This was going to be hard work for The Maid, especially with the Vampire queen supervising her sweeping.  Rosie also mercilessly teased a chap in the audience who she decided was Cinderella’s Ugly Sister.


WILD CARD KITTY offered a variation on the reverse strip dance, throwing Christmas decoration baubles to the audience as she moved.


The first half of the night closed with a lovely singer, BELLA VON KISS, who’se songs included Why Not Take All Of Me? Cry Me A River and her only Xmas number, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.


                             PART TWO


With the Christian World due to celebrate the birth of its Messiah, our Vampire Queen encouraged us to sing Handel’s Halleluliah Chorus, and seemed startled that we seemed to know the next few lines and tune so well.


SUZIE SEQUIN performed a sweet flower fan dance.


ACACIA SWEET became even more of an angel, complete with wings, discarding clothes and virtue to sacrifice her holiness for love and dance. 


EVE D'EMERALDE became a raunchy rocking sexy Mrs. Santa Claus, on the first anniversary of her remarkable performance career.


MISTER MAGIC presented a dazzling, well timed and choreographed manipulation of the lights from the stage Christmas Tree, making them come on and go off at will, and seemed to be able to pass them through his body from mouth to ears, nostrils, and even from his bum. I’d seen him do this routine at the Green Room’s THE CABARET FORMERLY KNOWN AS BUCKET 1   It is a visually stunning presentation.


THE DAGGER DAMES returned as somewhat inebriated angels, who had predictably delightful effects on their inhibitions, as could only be expected.


WILD CARD KITTY was also an angel, trying to hitch alift to or across Heaven,  and removing garments in the hope of gaining the attention of the drivers she imagined pasing her on the highway to paradise. Only with no clothes left that could be discarded did she realize what her wings were for and pretended to fly off uner her own power.


With a terrific closing set by BELLA VON KISS, the show as over, though Rosie was to present prizes to the best dressed man and lady in the audience, and we celebrated a girl’s birthday. Bella Besame now came on stage to thank the dancers, Rosie, the hard working staff of Bookbinders, Willow, and Dr Sid, among others. Asked if we would be happy to see rosie as compere again at future events, the audience reaction was unanimously in favour of her return. There was no ‘Oh Yes, we would, Oh no we wouldn’t’ about it – everyone loved her, even though she was so strangely happy to hear us going ‘Boo, hiss, boo.’


For my other Burlesque reviews see




Arthur Chappell



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