Arthur Chappell

Create Your Badge


A welcome return visit to the Candy Shack burlesque show following their amazing pre-Christmas event in 2009 (see BURLESQUE 22).


Rapidly establishing itself as a major happening on the scene, and with many of the performers having also played Oliver’s Bar before at the extra-ordinary Faint Fascinations Cabaret, the event was totally sold out.


MATTHEW SWIFT, took on the challenging role of compeer with warm enthusiasm and proved to be a great stand-up comedian, dealing with gentle friendly heckling from regulars and other staff with great ease.  A highlight was the text messaging service, enabling people to pass Valentine’s messages to a designated number on his phone, to be read out to the audience, which many used to great humerous effect, and the audience showed much support to one attendee who’s texts indicated that she was dumped by an insensitive boyfriend on the eve of Valentine’s Day.

The romantic if over-commercialised day was a major bonus to the show, though the dances were going to be far from merely romantic and saccharine sweet.  There was a dark edge to the show in many of the acts.


MIDJET JEM was the first dancer, performing to Cool Rider, from the Grease 2 soundtrack, as a biker chick, in a leather jacket, and she soon peeled away the layers to make an amazing exit on a small-motorized children’s motorbike, in her panties and tassels.


Maids – SAMANTHA BALL, KIM HAMMOND AND SERA LUCAS,  the latter being the winner of the coveted and challenging, highly responsible and important role in a competition at the previous Candy Shack event, did a great job, working as a team to keep the stage tidy between artistes.


MAGENTA MOON presented a Valentine performance, handing out little hearts to members of the audience, bearing her website details, and wearing a lovely flowery dress, gloves and fishnets. As she took garments off, she burst a balloon, filled with confetti, and danced to a rocking version of  Lets Do It from the movie Tank Girl.


DUCKIE presented a reprise of her lovely Faint Fascinations debut dance, reading a book on how to be a lady, but being taken into a hypnotic frenzy by the music, dancing quickly, as if partly possessed, and having to take her clothes off, down to dark corsetry and beyond, partly against her will, as drawn by the passion of the moment.


ANNABELLA ACES – Another welcome reprise from the Faint Fascinations show, was this stunning routine using Lady Ga-Ga’s Poker-Face song, using, a jacket, shorts, and tight corsetry, with playing cards peeping out from the cleavage, and two Aces as breast-guards.


GLORIAN GRAY was next to perform, with a chap bravely volunteering to be her victim, as a man bound and gagged, placed in a chair with a placard round his neck branding him as UNFAITHFUL. Glorian arrived to go through the anguish of wanting to love, forgive and punish him, taking clothes off to show him her own beauty and desire, and that which he might now never experience the touch of again,  she moved from threatening him with knives, hitting him, to throwing herself onto his knee to kiss him, lick his face, and press her boobs into his face,  with an astonishing range of expressions of cruelty, despair, love, and anguish (the whole gamut of emotions a woman who’s lover has been unfaithful might feel), before belting him in the face with a frying pan soon after  losing as many clothes as she could dare.  The male performer extricated himself from his bonds and left the stage soon after she finished.


SUSIE SEQUIN, later to perform a burlesque routine herself, proved to be a great singer (as she did for early arrivals with her rehearsal performances). Her first number was a Marilyn Monroe style rendition of Happy Birthday for some of the audience members. Still wearing her long elegant evening dress and gloves, she sang Fever, Higher Than An Eagle, Wind Beneath My Wings, & Big-Bad Handsome Man superbly to bring the first part of the show to a tremendous close.


After a drinks break, the stage was ready for an even darker second half. There was first of all a surprise birthday cake for Kim, one of the hard working maids. 


MAGENTA MOON set the pace and mood superbly, as a mental patient, complete with straight-jacket and wide pantaloon style trousers, assisted to the stage by MIDJET JEM in the nurse’s outfit she would soon be performing in herself. Appropriately choosing Napoleon 14th’s They’re Coming To Take Me away as the music for her escape, she didn’t just settle for getting free from the straight-jacket, but from most of her other clothes too.


As the Maids set out a chair with a sinister looking children’s doll on it, MATTHEW SWIFT gave an impromptu rendition of Riverdance, before ANNABELLA ACES returned in a red and black striped PVC corset, and deliberately smudged make up, looking slightly deranged, disturbed and vampiric as she danced out of the restrictive garments, before attacking the doll, kicking it, and running from the stage as if she had just committed a crime.


DUCKIE (with PRINCESS OF DARKNESS) bravely assisting as her patient, lying back on a makeshift operating table with all but her blood-stained face covered. Duckie went psychotic, in a Friday 13th style mask, bearing a knife, and attacking the patient, before discarding the blood stained evidence before redressing in a red tartan skirt, and a black top to make her escape, proving that dressing can be as sexy and beautiful as clothing removal for a skilled burlesque dancer.  Princess Of Darkness left the operating table alive and well after her ordeal.


MIDJET JEM also performed a mad medic routine, though very differently. Assisted by MAGENTA MOON, Midjet initially came out in a classic nurse’s uniform, using a scalpel to mutilate a teddy bear, before turning her attention to the patient, Magenta, ripping the poor lady’s guts out, and smearing herself in the gore removed.  A classic display of Grand Guignol.


GLORIAN GRAY presented the first of two gentler routines before the gore-fest finale.  Glorian’s belly dance was in a red Harem girl costume was delightful, with some nice touches of humour, such as one ribbon proving to be a pair of panties.


SUSIE SEQUIN was the last ‘burlesque’ performer of the night, presenting a beautifully controlled fan dance with red fans, using Bette Midler’s The Rose for her  music.


The dancers and maids were invited to the stage to take their bows before the final act, as it was suspected that the stage might be too messy to allow for it afterwards. They were greeted with rapturous applause.


DAMIEN S FEAR and his gas-masked nurse assistant, RAYE GUNN, closed the night as they had done at the Faint Fascinations event. Though much of the material was similar to the previous appearance, the presentation was largely silent, set to a pounding punkish rock score, punctuated by gasps and wincing from the audience’s more squeamish members and piercings were made, staples and drawing pins were pressed into his scalp, beer barrels were dragged round on rods that penetrated arm skin, and mouse-traps were set off on the tongue as well as on pelvic skin. Many cameras were triggered as everyone moved in to get close pictures to show to friends who might not believe what was being seen if only told about it – Damien is Sadist and Masochist to himself, leaving the tarpaulin covered stage soaked in his own blood – a brave, mad and amazingly entertaining chap who is actually very pleasant to talk to off-stage.  Raye Gunn reprised her dangerous cucumber slicing act, with the rapid, sharp blade slicing the vegetable into slivers while resting it on her arm.


The extremely hot blow-torch to the mouth act by Damien closed the show, and final thank you messages went out for performers, event organizers, Candy-Shack, KALANDRA WHEATCROFT, for running her hat, tassel and accessories stall, The Oliver’s Bar staff, event photographer IAN WILSON, the lady serving as the event’s official video producer,.and DJ CHERRYBOMB, who started the music playing as dancing and partying set in for the night after a fantastic entertaining, sometimes breath-taking show.


My own thanks to everyone at Candy Shack and Oliver’s Bar for such a warm and friendly welcome and an amazing night.


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