BURLESQUE REVIEW – FRIDAY 17TH JULY 2009 – SLIPPERY BELLE - BOOKBINDERS, MINSHALL STREET, MANCHESTER.
There was a tremendous attendance for such a rainy night, and the atmosphere at Bookbinders was very warm and friendly. Extra chairs were put out round the bar to make sure everyone was comfortable.
DR. SID, resident DJ, presented the soothing classy music of the 40’s & 50’s which I could never tire of listening to. No chance of hearing So Solid Cru or Def Lepperd here.
CRIMSON SKYE was the compeer and she gave one of the most original and astonishing presentations ever, as an insane Texan redneck serial killer, complete with Southern drawl, a severed human head called appropriately, Ed, and loving threats to break out a chain-saw on the audience out of sheer love for each of us. She was scary and funny at the same time. She clearly relished her role and enjoyed herself immensely. It was a real tour d’force performance.
Crimson targetted several bald chaps in the audience as potential future replacements for Ed, and I felt slightly relieved at being sat too far back in the audience for similar targetting.
In a break from tradition, Crimson replaced the traditional audience appreciation cry of Hurrah, with a Texan Yehah, to be yelled every time she called out ‘Howdee Pardners’.
THE MAID, EVE D’EMERALDE, the Swedish bombshell, a great burlesque dancer in her own right, was on hand to gather up props, discarded garments, and suffer the torments of the compeer.
LAUREATE O'HARA, also new to me, was next – a Mancunian performer, in a black business sit, white tie, and a great deal of sensual shimmying, - she teased a chap with her jacket, and fluttered very impressive eyelashes.
Bella Besame often presents international Burlesque stars for our delight & delectation, and the amazing KABUKI GUNS quartet was on tour from Calgary, Canada. They danced in fishnets, top hats and sporting bushy tails with a tremendous sense of choreography, and it was impossible to say who was more beautiful of the four.
KIKI KABOOM, Winner of Best Newcomer at the London Burlesque Festival 2009, had the challenging task of following such a barnstorming act, and she did it with great style and comedy, coming on as an aggressive chav girl, spoiling for a fight, chewing gum, wearing a fur coat, stealing beer from he punters with a ‘what are you going to do about it? Expression that no one would dare challenge, before stripping to panties and tassels without a care in the World.
LACY GUNSMOKE, of the KABUKI GUNS, came out to do a very sweet and sexy solo dance, peeling away a Hollywood gala worthy orange evening dress to Mambo Italiano, and showering herself and the stage in glitter.
DAISY DEVILLE a second dancer from the KABUKI GUNS followed quickly with a green dress, black furs, gloves, hair feathers, and dark green bra. The surprise finish to her act was the sparkler on her pasties, lit carefully by the Maid for a fiery cheery finish that was truly spectacular.
FRISKY AND MANNISH, returning by audience demand and enthusiasm after their appearance at Bookbinders in May, ended the first half of the show with some fantastic comedy music, declared that they were ‘Bringing sexy back’, (as if it had ever gone away at Bookbinders). They sang a song to remind us which was frisky & which was Mannish, a sexed up take on nursery rhymes that will ensure that ‘The Wheels On The Bus’ never sounds the same again, and a terrific take on Music Hal banter, ending with ‘Have A Banana’, which Crimson soon insisted we shout out whenever we hear the names Frisky & Mannish in future.
Crimson introduced the break, and there was a chance to replenish drinks, etc and listen to more of Sid’s great music choices before the show recommenced.
Crimson Skye opened the second half of the night with a song dedicated to Ed, or rather, to his heart, literally singing our Cheatin’ Heart to a heart dripping in blood.
One of the ‘cheekiest’ acts followed, with CHERRY WHIP, from the Kabuki Guns, dancing in a black flamenco dress, with a white rose in her dark hair, a red bra and tassels not just covering her breasts but also her cheeks. ‘four for the price of two’ as Crrimson quipped afterwards.
BUNNY BUNNOTZI also from the Kabuki Guns, played with audience hearts by playing with fire, coming out in a tribal totem dance cutting away her costume with knives & scissors and setting off flame effects as she stripped.
A more sedate but beautiful dance followed, with QUIXOTIC CORRUPTION tending to her English village garden in her red gingham Summer dress, and taking it off when she got too hot.
KIKI KABOOM provided a brilliant ‘Geek To Freak’ routine, arriving on stage initialy as a computer nerd, trying to look unglamourous in an Ugly Betty style, but somehow looking gorgeous even as a geek, though her gradual transformation to a party animal in a shiny black PVC corset was stunning.
The last dance was by the four KABUKI GUNS, namely, in no particular order, BUNNY BUNNOTZI, CHERRY WHIP, DAISY DEVILLE AND LACY GUNSMOKE in gingham corsets of various colours, and kinky white boots, and white cheer-leader skirts, peeling one by one to tassels and frilly panties to much cheering.
FRISKY AND MANNISH closed the show in a style that ensured calls for their return again some time in future. Their amazing timing on the medleys, switching from song to song in mid sentence was breath-taking, and they sang a song about Google, and how it’s very name has taken over from ‘search’, so U2’s ‘Still Haven’t Found What I’m Searching For’ became Still Haven’t Found What I’m Googling For.
BELLA BESAME ended the night with a call for thanks to everyone involved in the show, the dancers, singers, Dr. Sid, bar staff, Maid & Crimson included, and then it was dance time, which I joined in for as long as I could before my late night transport needs demanded that I tear myself away from a very lively happy party.
A huge thanks to organizers, performers and audience friends from the shows for invaluable feedback & editorial advice / suggestions on these reviews.
This is the first show to which I took my new digital camera, and battery failure meant I only fired off a few shots, but here they are. AC
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