Arthur Chappell

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BURLESQUE REVIEW – BRAHAHA – FAB CAFÉ PORTLAD STREET, MANCHESTER THURSDAY 22cd OCTOBER 2009

A  special charity show in aid of The Eve Appeal, who campaign for gynaecological cancer research. The event was organized by Cat’s Cradle Comedy, and in conjunction with the Manchester Comedy Festival, for which FAB Café & her sister bar, Tiger Lounge had already hosted events in Autumn 2009.

Brahaha promised a balance of high calibre burlesque and stand up comedy, with a dozen performers kindly dedicating their time and energy to the event for free. 

The show was superbly MC’d by STANLEY MCHALE. Understandably, there were lots of topical satirical gags about the BBC allowing neo-nazi BNP Euro-MP TV airtime on the same night as the Brahaha event, and it was clear that the audience here regard Griffin’s hateful stance with the contempt it deserves.

Stanley was also able to do a very good impersonation of Ricky Gervais. He picked various audience members from the audience to receive new names from a random burlesque name generator, so folk found themselves re-christened with such monikers as Duchess Sparkles, Antoinette Champagne, Montana Passion, Sapphire Dandelion, etc. All good names, but none could compare to those of the real performance names used by the night’s dancers.   PHOTO of Stanley - 867

TWINKLE STARR was the first burlesque dancer to perform, as a sleepy lady with a phobia for her own clothes. She woke in her sexy nightwear, clutching a teddy bear, and slowly not only stripped down to panties & tassels, but then stepped into her stockings and a glamorous red-pink dress, making the putting on of clothes as appealing as their removal.  PHOTOS – 820 821 822 823 824 825 826  

MISS SWEET CHERRY KISS was now presented as the event Maid, recovering clothes and props for Twinkle as she would for all the dancers. Cherry had to endure the MC’s doomed efforts to woo & seduce her and did so with great style. 827 828  

MILLIE DOLLAR oozed elegance, looking like a cross between Lana Turner & Data Von Teese in a classy 1940’s evening dress, carrying a goblet of wine, peeling to a blue corset,  and long gloves, which she removed to rapturous audience appreciation. .  829 830 831 832 833 834 835 836 837

BLUEBELLE MALONE demonstrated how to be the perfect housewife, using posters and book pages to announce the stages of her transformation to such perfection. She came out in a black dress with white spots, clutching a shopping bag, and a flask that quickly became a cocktail shaker from which she swigged the booze to help shed her inhibitions, giving out cakes to the audience to demonstrate the importance of a wife’s kitchen role, before turning to the page about the importance of satisfying her man’s ‘lust’, and quickly stripping down to a green corset and tassels. 838 839 840 841

SIMON BLIGH the first of the three comedians of the night, a headliner at Manchester’s premier comedy club, The Frog & Bucket, where he was due to perform right after doing his set at FAB. He joked about sex education in a Catholic school in the 1960’s & 1970’s, which I could relate to as I’d been through the  same system in my youth. His comedy had a resonance of truth for many listeners. 842  

After a drinks break, the show recommenced with a special performance by KITTY COINTREAU – special in that she is the alter-ego of the event’s organizer, CAT DAVIES without who the show would never have happened. She danced in a white corset with black vertical stripes, a pink tutu, a dark satin train, fishnets, red panties and eventually using two giant lollipops to maintain some modesty and decorum. 843 844 845 846 847 848 849

SUZIE SEQUIN did an amazing Marilyn Monroe impersonation, dancing in a red dress and black corset to Norma Jean’s rendition of Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend.  850 851 852 853 854 855 856 857 858 859 860

IVY WILDE made the song Poison Ivy into a signature tune for herself, dancing her way out of a white coat,  top, tartan skirt, a black corset but never out of her fabulous smile. 861 862 863 864 865

CAIMH MCDONNELL, an Irish comedy gem and a last minute replacement for another comedian who was unable to attend, joked about the surreal setting at FAB Café itself, (The bar is themed on cult TV & movies) with its life-sized Dr. Who Dalek right behind performers. He had found himself standing by one dancer’s boyfriend as she had performed her tease and joked about being seen looking too closely for fear of causing jealousy. 866  

HEATHER SWEET closed the second of three parts of the show by dancing and singing in a water-free paddling pool as a mermaid with a passion for a human lover who wasn’t ‘fishy’,  She wore a green top representing fish scales and a brown skirt, removing her clothes to show that she was all woman within. 868 869 870 

After a last drinks break, compeer STANLEY MCHALE told a funny, and scary true story about the terrible audience he faced at an army barracks

CHAMPAGNE CHARLY came on as the last burlesque performer, instantly recognisable as Judy Garland’s Dorothy Gale character from The Wizard Of Oz,  and using dialogue & music from the film, as well as having a stuffed Toto dog prop with her as she danced out of the gingham farm-girl dress to reveal a black corset, red panties and of course, the ruby red shoes. The film will never seem quite the same again. 876   877   878  879   880  881   882 883 884 885 886 887

ANDY WATSON was the last of the comedians and the last act of the night. It was easy to see why he won the award as City Life comedian of the year in 2006, as he talked through the absurdity of taking phrases seriously, so that the expression ‘Find yourself a girl with everything in the right place’ makes him wonder if there are girls with their body parts in the wrong places, such as legs growing out of their heads, etc.

He finished with a fabulous gag about the Incredible Hulk getting angry while making love,  and his failed erection sparked the sad closing theme music from the TV show. 888 889  

A raffle followed, in which I was unlucky enough to see prizes go to the numbered tickets immediately either side of those I’d bought, especially as I’d accidentally been given more tickets than I’d bought and been honest enough to return the surplus, returning the winning tickets instead of the winning ones – ha! Such is life. Prizes, donated by the event sponsors,  were very generous, and included health farm breaks, perfumes, tickets to see shows at The Frog & Bucket & more besides.  CAT DAVIES thanked everyone for their work on the show, including performers, bar staff, sponsors, DJ’s, The Eve Appeal, etc and there was no doubt that the event had been a great success and that the best gratitude had to be for Cat herself.  890   891

I hope Brahaha go on to present many more such shows in future. 

                                                  LINKS

FAB CAFÉ - http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=34393647344&ref=ts                 

CAT’S CRADLE COMEDY www.myspace.com/catscradlecomedy

THE EVE APPEAL  http://www.eveappeal.org.uk/

Didn’t attend or wish to donate more? – See  www.​justgiving.​com/​brahaha/​

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my other Burlesque pages & reviews
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