Arthur Chappell

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BELLA BESAME has run Slippery Belle for three years now, longer than many regular burlesque events endure. The third birthday special was to be one of the best show’s yet, and certainly proved to be the best attended, with many standing for lack of seats, and event he bar becoming a bench for much of the night.

DJ MIKEY WONG  played some cool jazz music as the audience filed in, before ROSIE LUGOSI, Manchester’s Vampire queen Lesbian From Hell, came out to preside over we, her minions, and adoring subjects once more. She coped well with the loss of her roving cordless mic, cleverly and spontaneously exploiting the fact that the wires meant she couldn’t quite reach and bite at members of the audience closest to the stage.


It takes a brave first time performer to open a show, and MISS SAVOY AFFAIR’s debut dance was a tremendous show starter. Beginning with Pulp Fiction theme and moving through Dusty Springfield’s Son Of A Preacher man (among other music) Miss Savoy began the routine in a white shirt, and dark skirt, stripping quickly down to frilly panties and fishnets with no sign of nervousness and receiving a very welcome wave of audience appreciation.


MARIE THE MAID, latest of Mistress Rosie’s long line of victim-servants, (never the same maid twice) seemed happy in her doom-role as the lady with the task of tidying up props and recovering costume pieces, sweeping away glitter, etc. When several ladies sat cross legged at the front to watch the show, the Maid spontaneously at in their midst, clearly enjoying the show as much as they were. She did a tremendous job throughout the night. 


VALENTINA ONTHEROCKS was the Maid at the Christmas 2009 Slippery Belle, SEE BURLESQUE 23 and the delightful Italian lady now returned to present a medical biology themed routine, with bottles of various coloured liquids and chemicals being brought to the stage in advance of her routine. Valentina, in a lab coat,  mixed the chemicals with some indication that she knows her science, and the effect of the experiment turned her from scientist to dancer, as she stripped away the lab coat to reveal a Bo Fosse musical corset and dancing to All That Jazz, and revealing more before she went.


CRIMSON SKYE presented one of the funniest balloon dance routines I’ve seen at Slippery, with the audience being given balloons, and invited to pop those on Crimson’s body, including two inflated surgical gloves on her head.


There was a classy calming return to the 1940’s then with a musical set presented by the sublime melodies of the SWINGAROO SISTERS, a trio of 1940’s singers in elegant green skirts & jackets who performed Glenn Miller’s In The Mood, I’ve Got Rythmn, Rum and Coca Cola and the Lullaby Of Broadway, creating a strange nostalgic yearning for an era in which few if any of the audience and cast were even born. Quite lovely.

After the first of two intermissions, during which I managed to lose my pens (making these notes a little less detailed than those  for the opening and closing sections of the show) MISS SAVOY AFFAIR performed a second assured dance in a pink corset with black stripes and stockings, showing that she is certain to return many times if audience appreciation is anything to go by. 


VALENTINA ONTHEROCKS  danced in a body hugging black corset top, with long red gloves bra, panties and a red feather boa, shedding more of her inhibitions and clothes the more she was drinking.


PHILLY CARAMEL returned from New York to perform a favourite routine last seen  on her visit to the August 2009 Slippery Belle, as a ballet dancer (a skill in which she is clearly trained) who needs alcohol, cigarettes and even cocaine to help her pirouette, a life-style that leads her to doing the Dying swan from swan Lake rather better than might be expected – a gloriously funny and irreverent routine.


PINKIE SPECIAL, another international star of burlesque, (from France) performed a breath taking routine with a hula-hoop, keeping the golden, glistening hoop spinning while she removed her sparkling red show-girl clothes as effortlessly as if the hoop was not spinning round her from midriff, to neck and back again as she did so.


Burlesque involves lots of whooping, and cheering, at which I frankly sound rubbish amidst the greater noises made by the audience around me.

The third part maintained the amazing high standard set for the show.


The SWINGAROO SISTERS returned with a second set of lovely songs – Sing Sing Sing, incorporating It Ain’t What You Do, It’s The Way That You Do It. Christins Aguilera's Candyman followed. The singers proudly and cheekily announced that they’d entertained us without taking any of their clothes off.


PHILLY CARAMEL returned to music from Nine Inch Nails, performing in a white hair wig, and a wild, primal mask that reminded me of the Predator film, the star of New York’s burlesque scene showed why she is so sensational once again.


CRIMSON SKYE returned to the stage area in a dark tight fitting gimp suit and leather mask that left only her eyes and lips initially visible, a gimp sit, but a dominant stance, pouting directly to several in the audience, including myself, before slowly freeing herself from the restrictive outfit to the song, I’m Feeling Good. 


PINKIE SPECIAL returned in a large Amy Winehouse style wig, using her hula-hoop to astonishing and suggestive effect, casting her clothes aside with ease, with her shoes landing close to me – this lady could easily spark a major revival in the hula-hoop.


ROSIE LUGOSI & BELLA BESAME thanked the performers, bar staff, audience and everyone for an amazing night, before MIKEY WONG launched the rock & Roll dance night, in which I joined for an hour or so before heading for home, looking forward to the next show, and the next three years of Slippery Belle. My own thanks to everyone I chatted with, and sat with and got to take photos of, and a special thank you to Bella Besame for making such wonderful shows happen.



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