Saturday, 8 December 2012
Chaz Royal: Celebrating his 10 Year Anniversary in Burlesque - Friday 23rd November 2012 at Bush Hall, London
What do Chaz Royal's burlesque shows, all have in common? A majestic wide variety of bawdy humour, elegance, glamour, seduction and eccentricity, in all shapes, sizes and styles.
A pleasure for all to enjoy, and tonight was no exception. From glamour to bizarre, and purely entertaining, all acts were a delight of the highest standard. And this is why we love burlesque, the Chaz way...!
Celebrating 10 years in burlesque, Chaz chose 'Bush Hall' for this memorable anniversary. A favourite venue, with a music hall feel, grand architecture, but friendly, and not one ounce of pompousness. While some venues have a greater feel of prestige, Bush Hall has been a much sought-after venue, as it marries glamour and popularity, perfectly.
The hosts, Chaz Royal and Betty D'Light, welcomed the guests personally, at the door, adding a touch of specialness by keeping close to the audience. When shows become a national success, it is easy to detach oneself from the public, and lose track of the important factor: the spectacle goes on stage for the pleasure of the spectators...! So, it's fantastic to see the organisers, promoters be part of us.
Chaz and Betty
Buzzing with excitement, the room was full; a sign of how notorious and popular Chaz's events have become.
Eccentric, talented entertainer, Benjamin Louche, was the compère for the night, bringing his unique sense of humour, dark, satiric and extremely witty. His distinctive stage presence, a performance in itself, sent the audience into frenzy with laughter, cheer and applause throughout the night. A compère unlike the rest...!
This grand evening opened with the winner of the London Burlesque Festival 2012, Anna the Hulagan. Even more glamourous than during her performance in May, Anna brought to the stage a mixture of skill, seduction, and magnificent eye catching hula hoop fire act, full of energy. Increasing the pace, as the rhythm grew faster and faster, Anna the Hulagan performed a beautiful striptease, receiving much acclamation from the spectators.
A brilliant act not to miss...!
Anna the Hulagan
But Chaz's events would not be complete without a touch of boylesque, and tonight he delighted us with four male performers.
The first this evening, Kiki Lovechild, entered the stage with an amazing hand shadow performance, leading to his double act with his furry ostrich. With the wonderful 'Close to you' by The Carpenters playing, Kiki and his ostrich had successive routines culminating to his strip, revealing his whizzing pasties - a great act and one that provoked great enthusiastic applause.
Laughter followed by glamour with a capital G, Banbury Cross, in her Marilyn Monroe style, brought the Golden Age of Hollywood to this event. Owning the stage with confidence, class and a beautiful sensual choreography, Banbury sent hearts thumping. She wowed the room with her classical burlesque tease, full of charisma, sensuality and the skills of true professional performer. A very rowdy audience gave a majestic ovation when she showered herself with champagne wearing nothing by pasties and a thong... A very erotic tableau...!
The unexpected always arrives like a big wave or with a big 'bang' and Dare's arrival on stage certainly got the attention of the whole room. A fantastic boost of originality and great entertainment, Dare's aerobics number had all of us clapping and waving. With all eyes on him, he performed a parody of an aerobic instructor, doing the splits, the wheel and dancing with such energy! His routine and choreography showed much agility, individuality and fun. Finishing with his glittery body naked, except for some luminous green trunks, Dare got us all fully energised, ready for more... But we had an interval instead...!
We all welcomed the two intervals Chaz included tonight, allowing the audience to savour the show by extending the pleasure, taking time to wander around, talking to other spectators, and sharing the delight of the night.
Back in front of the stage, we welcomed the magnificent Lada Redstar in all her splendour, wearing a sparkling black and white dress. She took to the stage with confidence, in a truly theatrical manner, a delectation for the eyes...! Her acts took us from Jessica Rabbit's seductive look, to Bettie Page's erotic moves. Lada Redstar, is an artiste and star in every way.
Uniqueness is not for the weak ones. It takes someone very special to carry out an act with so much singularity, and Mr Pustra has the charisma, the personality and the look for this special act. In his Pierrot outfit, Mr Pustra reminds me of the eccentric Serge Gainsbourg, smoking while singing, poetic yet a rebel. Mr Pustra is the Pierrot of the Commedia dell'Arte, full of visual art, and poesy with his personal touch of eccentricity, rebellion and posture. He kept the full attention of the crowd, taken by his singing, right to the finale's accolade...! Wow...!
From one iconic figure to another, Eliza Delite is a Virgin wearing the traditional blue robe; a beautiful outfit that comes off to reveal a fiery golden and red corset. In her crown and 'Heart of Jesus' effigy on her chest, Eliza Delite's dance in her golden wings mesmerises the audience. A magnificent tableau rich in colours, movement and sensuality; a Saint who strips down to show the erotic side of purity...! A marvelous performance...!
Keeping with the biblical theme of women, Veronique Divine is the embodiment of the Jezebel or the temptress dancer Salome, whose dance captivated Herod. In her red outfit, flying us to Arabian nights, Veronique Divine raises the heat in the room, seducing the audience with her dance, her tease and finally a most erotic strip...! Hot, hot, hot...!
Just as we thought the stage couldn't get any hotter, in comes Big Chief Random Chaos...! His signature act, the one that won him first place at the Burlesque Games in May at Madame Jojo's, was still a great piece of entertainment. One that filled the room with laughter, screams, disbelief and a crowd clapping hilariously...! If anyone wants to see a burlesque variety act with much ingenuity, this is one! His bottom spanked, on fire, and sado masochism thrown into the act, he set his mohican on fire; nobody expected such madness... Big Chief delivered, once again, an entertaining act with brilliance... Chaos by name, great entertainer by nature...!
BigChief Random Chaos
Closing the first evening of this celebratory weekend, Lada Redstar returned on stage with another fabulous costume; colourful, utterly prestigious green costume, her bug act won another praise from tonight's crowd.
All in all, a success for everyone. An elated and happy audience, welcomed back the magnificent acts that performed brilliantly tonight. With so many shows to his name, Chaz delivers burlesque entertainment in all its grandeur. Bravo!
Hurrah to another 10 years of Chaz Royal's burlesque shows...!
Photographer: James Drury