Arthur Chappell

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My second December visit to The Voodoo Lounge, having attended the delightful CHERRYBOMB fashion launch there on Thursday the 10th December 2009.

With BELLA BESAME running both events, Cherrybomb had also featured several burlesque performers and friends wearing the beautiful bright coloured designer dresses and designs for a very brisk, and elegant presentation, as well as providing the audience with canapés, and champagne.  This was a very beautiful event in its own right, the first of its kind I have attended.

Now, I was back for the Slippery Belle Burlesque. Being a Christmas special, there was very much a happy party atmosphere even on arriving at The Voodoo Lounge, and chatting to friends as we waited to go in. Manchester was full of wild office-parties and revellers celebrating the end of the last full week of work, so the Voodoo lounge was an oasis of calm by comparison.

We went in, and took our places, as CD’s of Christmas carols played, giving way after a while to the Jazzy lounge music, such as ‘It Don’t Mean A Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing, that has become as much a trademark of the voodoo lounge shows as the burlesque itself. DJ MIKEY WONG presided over the decks.

The Maid for the evening, VALENTINA ON THE ROCKS, dressed in a sexy Santa outfit,  prepared the stage area for the first act, setting out a chair, table and a bottle of holy water.

When compeer, ROSIE LUGOSI arrived on stage to rapturous applause, and declared she to be our ‘scary Goth-mother’ the party really got started.

MISS BURNING ROSE came out to the stage area as the first performer, dressed as a nun, who quickly went through a crisis of faith between God and the joys of the flesh, - Guess which one won? She poured the holy water over herself, and peeled out of her wet habit and other clothes.

DIAMOND DE LUXE made her burlesque debut next, going from frumpy and plain to beautiful with a love potion, to the well chosen son, Love Potion Number 9, performing as assuredly and confidently as if she’d been dancing burlesque for many years.

The Maid put up an old fashioned clothes drying frame which Rosie compared to a medieval torture devise, and this was for PINNY LACE who pretended to be a 1950’s housewife, putting out he washing to dry and adding her own discarded clothes to the rack as she removed them as well.

BETTIE D’BARBARELLA  presented a Nightmare Before Christmas style routine, with the aid of a small tree decorated with Jack-O’Lantern pumpkin like decorations, and a very shamanstic pagan dance routine, peeling down to tassels, panties and letting her long hair flow and swirl around wildly.

AVA AMORE closed what ROSIE LUGOSI rightly calls the mathematically incorrect three half show, as a bad Santa, in lovely long stripey socks, and a very sexy  Santa suit.

Part Two of the show commenced with Mistress Rosie throwing chocolate coins to the audience, before DIAMOND DE LUXE, no longer a virgin, (pronounced Wirgin by Rosie in her finest Bela Lugosi accentuation), as a very naughty elf, dressing up and stripping down in Santa’s grotto wardrobe facilities. .

There was a switch from Fantasy Christmas heroes to science fiction villainy now, with MISS BURNING ROSE coming out as an extremely sexy Darth Vader, complete with mask, and light sabre, peeling free of her cloak in a way that means the films will never look quite the same again.  

EVE D’EMERALDE performed her terrific ‘Elf & Safety’ routine next, to the Men Without Hats song, The Safety Dance, using authentic Health & safety signs to show why the Elf had to wear a hard hat, and protective footwear, whilst somehow finding an excuse to wear not much at all. I had seen Eve perform this same routine at the 5th Cabaret Formerly Known as Bucket a few weeks before, and she managed to make it look fresh and highly inventive the second time round too. 

RUBY ROSE  performed a brilliant exotic Eastern flavoured belly dance in white veils, and red undergarments.

AVE AMORE  closed the second half with a tribute to Michael Jackson, wearing some of his iconic outfit accessories, a single glove, etc, moonwalking, and finishing with feather fans..

Part Three began, after lots of intermission dancing, with a moving moment of real celebration, when ROSIE LUGOSI announced that she had been totally victorious in her long struggle against throat cancer, bringing the audience close to a full standing ovation, and giving the night to come an additional joyful atmosphere.

PINNY LANE performed a number about a woman in prison, romanticising over a photo of Ronnie Barker in Porridge, and seducing her jailor with a very sexy slow removal of her stockings, and other clothes.

BETTIE D’ BARBARELLA performed as a werewolf, with furry tassels, a wolf mask, and a very sexy angle on lycanthropy.

EVE D’EMERALDE was a very rocking Santa, moving fast and encouraging the audience to clap along with a revealing dance that seemed incredibly energetic. 

RUBY ROSE closed the performance set with a stunning display of glamour and Hollywood elegance, moving from her corsetry to a stunning fan dance routine that really brought the house down.

ROSIE LUGOSI introduced BELLA BESAME and they thanked everyone who had performed, as well as the Voodoo Lounge Bar staff, before Bella announced the details of February’s show (with Slippery belle taking a well earned rest in January 2010).  Then it was over to MIKEY WONG to play the night into Rock & Roll party mood. 

My own thanks to all at Slippery Belle for making 2009 a very happy and memorable year for me too.


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