Thursday 26 May 2011

London Burlesque Week 2011 - The Newcomers Contest

What is so enjoyable about the Burlesque London Week Newcomers Contest?
Could it be the anticipation of new faces and new acts? Or the excitement of a competition we can judge whilst enjoying the entertainment, even though the official judging panel has the last word?
Whatever it is for you, I was waiting with great expectations.

Bush Hall was to its maximum that night, sold out, so, no hope of getting in at the last minute; the best seats were taken, and we were all anticipating this great evening showcasing an all female cast and promising to bring a diverse spectacle.

The gorgeous Kiki Kaboom with her divine and flirtatious smile, was the host for this special event; a perfect choice, as she won this contest two years ago. Miss Kaboom kept the audience on their feet, with the firm hand of a true Mistress, yet the charm and wit of a seductress...

A total of 13 performers took to the stage, each one producing a unique show.

The judging panel, comprising Chaz Royal, the acclaimed London Burlesque Week producer, the beautiful  Beeby Rose, co-producer of the Amsterdam Burlesque Festival, Ginger Blush, last year's well deserving newcomers contest winner and Loula Cherry, of the Hostess Hotties, had to vote for two acts this year: the Best Burlesque Striptease and the Best Variety Act. A difficult task after witnessing a string of marvellous performances.

Tabitha Taboo opened the show with a feline act, a dancing routine with white feathered ostrich fans, twirling her tassels and teasing the audience.

Whilst Shirley Windmill, with her 'Rule Britannia' anthem, her vegetable patch and her great singing voice brought a unique vaudeville act. A most entertaining performance and certainly a brilliant contender to win.

A mesmerising Miss Bruise Violet brought mystery and sensuality to the stage, an all arabian nights act performed magically with her belly dancing number, teasing the audience beautifully. A much favourite amongst the crowd whose applause said it all. Certainly one of my favourites!

For variety act, Miss Apple Tart was a cut above the rest and a favourite contestant for first place. Her brilliantly performed parody of Charlie Chaplin, coupled with her unique twist, gave a most humorous show.

Another favourite amongst the crowd was the delicious Duchess Divine with her story telling act, who teased the audience to reveal an awe inspired tassel twirling finale, claiming some of the biggest applause of the night.

La Fille brought a distinct feel to this evening; with her 'musical box ballerina' act, she took us to a different dimension with classical style dancing. A great show of wonderfully staged moves, facial expressions and make up perfectly dramatised.

Miss Amaretease was also one of my favourite acts with her umbrella dance routine. Tantalising the crowd, she gave a most entertaining show and brilliant number, finishing with one of the best striptease of the night!

However, the guest performer from Chicago, the phenomenal acrobat Tank, was awe inspiring with her spectacular performance that left the audience admiring such agility, skill and entertainment. One of those times when you could go on watching forever, never tiring of such brilliance. On her trapeze, she performed the most amazing acts doing the splits, hanging upside down, twirling, all with a most delicate femininity, yet the strength of a genuine acrobat. Her finale was breathtaking, as she stripped down to tassels in her own unique salacious way, still on her trapeze. What brilliance!

The whole event was packed with tease, tassel twirling, variety and salacious entertainment. Some acts belonged to the tradition of burlesque vaudeville and parody and others tantalised the crowd with magnificent strip performances, which were a pleasure to watch unlike those acts which do not lend themselves much to the realm of burlesque, arriving on stage already stripped and merely providing a 'clubby dancing' routine; not much of a burlesque inspired act...

The whole evening was greatly enjoyable and after a longer time than expected spent debating, the judges finally reappeared with the results.

Best Variety Act:
Winner: Shirley Windmill
First Runner-Up: Miss Apple Tart
Second Runner-Up: La Fille

Best Striptease Act:
Winner: Tabitha Taboo
First Runner-Up: Duchess Divine
Second Runner-Up: Lady Cherie

Chaz Royal's Newcomers Contest was without a doubt a great success. The idea of a competition was very appealing to the crowd. It just added to a bit of 'je ne sais quoi' to the great entertainment.

Now ready for the finale tomorrow night...

Rendez vous at the Coronet Theatre for the closing gala...

Eva Lamour

Miss Bruise Violet
Kiki Kaboom
Duchess Divine

Miss Apple Tart
Tank Tana

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