It’s been a while since I lost got a chance to visit one of the great burlesque events in Manchester, so this was a great opportunity for me.


There was a surreal quality to the thirty-minute delay in the opening of the doors. (It should have started at 7.30 pm, as a billboard placed outside at 7.45 pm confirmed). Even the performers were stuck outside, both at the front door and the side entrance area.  Once within, all went well.


TV screens with muted sound showed Pulp Fiction, and the DJ played lots of great rock and roll standards from Jerry Lee Lewis and The Big Bopper, among others. The theme for the night was Valentine’s Day, though some performers had a Grand Guignol  appreciation of Al Capone and graveyard Goth love rather than mere romance – all of the ladies were loveable though.


I have seen some of the ladies perform before, while others were new to me. All of them were terrific.  First up was RUBY FORTUNE, with an Ugly Duckling routine. She came on in frumpy plain attire that did not hide the fact that she is a beautiful girl, and slowly changed into a white swan dress, to Danny Kaye’s Ugly Duckling song. Once transformed, she revealed her real beauty by peeling away the swan white garb too.


DAISON MERRIERE performed a traditional balloon dance to the song Stupid Cupid, revealing more of herself as each balloon popped away, stabbed by her own Cupid arrow.


SENTOSA SPARKLE did a very short, mysterious but very exotic fan dance that left the audience needing more 


TWINKLE STAR, the first new performer I saw here, did a lovely seaside routine about a shy girl reluctant to show off her swimwear until she had taken some courage from the bottle, only to then reveal far more than her swimsuit…. I was glad she went with the song ‘Working For The Yankee dollar’ and not for a naff number like Itsy Bitzy Teeny Polk Dot Bikini – her performance was too classy for cheesy songs like that.


FANNY DIVINE , did the boldest routine, set in a mock graveyard, where as a grieving widow, she digs up her husband’s body and dances with it as she strips in a daring necrophilic fantasy. This was very funny and irreverent.


EVA BRAUN, who sings rather than mimes, did a stunning rendition of I’ve Got You Under My Skin, while peeling away most of what covered her own.


LOLA POPS another girl who was new to me, spoofed the crime scene CSI TV shows, to the point of even using the theme song to one as sung by The Who, as she investigates a murder scene, only to find her own clothes contaminated by hand prints from an unseen suspect. Slowly, she has to strip away her clothes and putt hem in evidence bags, before finding that the handprints are even on her breasts, at which point she flees in mock shock.


RUBY FORTUNE presented a  stunning fan dance routine, after coming on as a cat, even handing mice as presents to some of the audience, before eating a canary and then dancing away from all but the audience’s hearts…


MISTY LUX took the final set, in a startling scene that took some setting up, in which she is set in dark, but obviously fake chains, and struggles to break free, before casting away clothes and inhibitions too.


The DJ, Rob  and MC, Dean did a great job too, and the girls had a nice surprise at the close when they all came out together to present the MC with a birthday cake. A great encore moment, which showed genuine affection among the team that had clearly worked hard to create such a stunning show.


DIVINE CARNIVAL have a strong internet presence - www.carnivaldivine.co.uk  http://www.myspace.com/carnivaldivine_club  and http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2428408011


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