Thursday, 17 July 2014

BOYLEXE, burlesque with a difference, at the Shadow Lounge, Soho, London - 4 July 2014

Soho, one of the most entertaining, intriguing and lively areas in the heart of London. For connoisseurs and newcomers alike, Soho surprises you with new shows, new venues, and new enterprises popping up round every corner.

And so, there we were queuing outside the newly refurbished Shadow Lounge, anticipating a boylesque show with a difference, or so we were told! The glitzy chic and glamorous club was ready to receive an excited crowd. And as always, the burlesque aficionados, who love to model some great outfits of their own, were at the rendez-vous.

If you are searching for burlesque with a difference, Boylexe is just for you. Produced by Howard Wilmot, Boylexe features an all-male cast that dazzles you with some unexpected routines. It is a most colourful show with acts as varied and unique as the performers. Where else can you find a blend of monologues, storytelling and striptease acts, and featuring the most loved burlesque satire acts?

Our host tonight, Meth, queerlesque star and probably the most colourful performer of the night, graces the stage with confidence, charisma and individuality. After reading the 'rules' to the audience, his opening act is a parody of Beyonce's 'If I were a boy'. Miming his way through the song, and staging a very entertaining interpretation of it, he entrances the public with his performance. Spectators beware, as he pulls a male spectator to participate, something that seems to be the order of the night, so be prepared!

Many boylesque fans have had the great pleasure to see Meth's outstanding acts before, under the name of Mr Mistress. If you were lucky enough to attend the 2012 London Burlesque Festival at The Royal Vauxhall Tavern, you witnessed Mr Mistress receiving the runner-up award with his amazing performance!

While some of the following acts are more stand-up monologues, the one that has the audience in a roar of cheer and applause is Nick Stiletto. His American soldier's act is a memorable boylesque number on the scene. Nick Stiletto knows how to move! He wows the audience with the perfect use of the American flag and the pasties on his cheeks (and I don't mean his face!) that he twirls with sauciness and aplomb.

I was very excited when I heard that Fred Bear was part of the cast tonight. For those acquainted with the troupe Bearlesque, no need for introduction. Boylesque critically acclaimed male performers, Bearlesque's great talent marries comical to artistic savoir-faire in their unprecedented burlesque acts. Fred Bear's number, taken from 'Flashdance', was performed with wit, class and great liveliness. His confident stage presence is enticing.

Just Brilliant Fred Bear…!

The whole evening is a mixture of pastiche, discourse, and directly engaging the audience with gags such as blindfolding a spectator who laughs his way through hitting (or trying to!) a penis piñata.

But the most memorable act of the night was the closing number from Meth. Her jaw-dropping 'reverse striptease' routine enthralled the spectators whose ovation escalated to a final frenzy of cheers.

A must-see show that will captivate you with its wit, sauciness and unparalleled all-male cast.

The next shows this summer take place on 25 July, 1 August and 29 August. Doors open at 7pm.


BURLESQUE-MAP in the Promotional Code, on their website: www.boylexe.co.uk


Eva Lamour

Friday, 18 April 2014

Neo Burlesque Awards at the Empire Casino - Leicester Square - London - 10th April 2014

Have you ever wondered how burlesque performers start their career? Have you attended a burlesque event, and wished to be the one on the stage?

Forget the Big Apple for the land of opportunities; London is where eccentricity meets classical, where anything and everything happens, where your craziest dreams and fantasies can come to life. If London is not the land of opportunities, it is the world's biggest stage for performers to showcase their individuality.

And so, the Neo Burlesque Awards, at the Empire Casino, Leicester Square, opens the doors to newcomers, performing for a small audience, hoping to be voted the best on the night, in order to reach the grand finale in November, at Madame Jojo's.

We revel at the knowledge that up and down the capital city, a multitude of events are taking place, offering the public a view of what can be achieved when someone dreams of the impossible to become possible.

Created by Sharon Kay, the Neo Burlesque Awards is an event where, every second Thursday of the month, a few performers enter the stage to seduce the audience. It is a small affair in the Shadow Bar of the Empire Casino, but because many of the spectators come to support the performers, it is a very friendly atmosphere.

The compère for the night, the Divine MissEm, is no sweet shy hostess. The red-haired fiery femme fatale, will turn from latex lover dominatrix, cracking her whip, to sensual seductress, making your heart race with her powerful beautiful voice.

Tonight, she welcomes eight contestants owning the stage with their personal number, impressing the audience, and hoping to win their place at the final.

Burlesque is synonym of 'anyone can be who they want to be', where all shapes and sizes are equally as attractive, pleasing the array of spectators that burlesque attracts. And it was certainly so tonight, for the audience applauded, with fervour, each performer, as they presented the most varied of acts: from ballet, rock'n'roll, fans and polka dots, to tassel twirling acts.

These newcomers into the burlesque realm gave everything of themselves, and it was obvious that they enjoyed the attention they received, as the applause filled the room. A nerve-racking experience, it could be, but these performers seemed to have glided through with delight and exhilaration.

The contest was judged not only by tonight's three judges, Sharon Kay, Peggy De Lune and May Den-Voyage, but also the audience, who very avidly submitted their favourite name at the end of the show. As with all contests, the waiting is done while socialising; a time to chat to friends and meet new faces. An event that seems to be a bit more personal, but as London is not just about the big stage, what better place to spend a Thursday night, being entertained by friends, or friends of friends?

Why not be a judge yourself, and vote for your favourite act? Shows appear every month until the grand final in November. For a list of all shows, procure yourself the Burlesque Map London, at www.burlesquemap.co.uk, where you will find all listings and all information needed.

Support this fabulous wave of performers, and if not, why not become one yourself!
Schools are listed on the Map, so if you have what it takes, give it a go!!

Eva Lamour



Photography by:   JAMES DRURY

Scarlett Seductrice

Sirena Azure

Betty Rogers

Madeleine Soleil

Coeur de Plume

Silk Seduction

Penny De Fleur

Siren de la Soirée

With Judges: Peggy De Lune and May Den-Voyage

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Interview with Betty D'Light at Bush Hall - London - on You Tube

As the cover girl of Burlesque Map London 3, Betty D'Light shares some thoughts about the movement, gives some insight about what goes on behind the scene, and generally talks to us about Burlesque.

You can find all the videos on You Tube, but here is a preview:

Leave your comments, and subscribe for more videos.

For more profiles of performers, and many more shows and events, order copies of Burlesque Map London at: http://www.burlesquemap.co.uk/buy_burlesque_map.asp

Eva Lamour

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

House of Burlesque presents 'Burlesque Idol' Season 5 - January 2014

The last Friday of every month is a special day at Madame Jojo's. But don't take my word for it, go and experience it for yourself.

If you enjoy contests where the audience has the ultimate vote, then this is the perfect show. Burlesque Idol is where newcomers compete while showcasing their talent, convincing the crowd, and three judges, of their deserving place in the final, held in November 2014.

Madame Jojo's, legendary cabaret in the heart of Soho, enjoys a full house tonight; you can even spot the enthusiasts, showing off their retro or burlesque outfits.

The resident host and compère, Barnaby Slater, has an air of nonchalance as he arrives on stage. His calm disposition soon reveals his witty humour, as he interacts with the audience. His young look, untamed hair and braces remind me of a university student come comedian.

The panel of judges comprises burlesque internationally acclaimed performer, Tempest Rose, creator and producer of House of Burlesque; Delores Deluxe, resident judge, a founder and leader of 'The Kitten Club Burlesque Cabaret', London's longest running troupe. And finally, guest judge, Dolly Rose, international burlesque artist, teacher, and costume and vintage dance expert, who offers her invaluable contribution to tonight's show.

Personally, I am anticipating these acts with curiosity, wondering how these still-amateur performers can entertain a full crowd with success, and keep the vigorous and exciting momentum going.

The first contestant is Bollywood meets Burlesque, Hermione Lydne. Gracing the stage with a beautiful green sari, Hermione performs a seductive dance, barefoot. Using her beautiful 'butterfly' wings from her costume, she smiles all the way through, to the great cheer of the spectators.
Hermione hypnotises the room with a slow-paced, artistic and graceful act.

As the next contestant, Signorina Fabialosa, enters the stage, the spectators welcome her with fervent acclamation. Wearing a black corseted outfit and a riding crop, Fabialosa's confidence on stage is no indicator that she only qualified the previous month. Teasing the crowd second by second, this Diva promises a grand finale to her act. And to the pleasure of the audience, Fabiolasa reveals her Italian-flagged tassels, provoking a wave of loud applause.

Great start to the first contest of 2014. Burlesque Idol, in its 5th season, is a very popular event in the world of Burlesque. Its format might remind us of the many television contests with a panel of judges, and contestants providing entertainment for the audience, but Burlesque Idol reveals to be attracting big crowd incessantly.

Next on stage, Aurora Blu sways in with elegance in her blue, long feathered train and corset. A performance in two acts gives a more professional feel to her production. However, it would have been nice for her fast paced movements to have been slowed down, in order to appreciate her sensual grace. This doesn't deter the audience who applauds her performance with energy.

The first act after the interval comes from a far away place, Canada, with Susie Vavoom, whose confidence on stage takes the whole audience by storm. Her 1950s performance, with her unique Marilyn Monroe revival, reveals a success with the spectators. Although not all judges appreciate her lip sync performance, her sassiness enchants the crowd.

Last but not least, Whisky Falls enters the stage with great poise and salacious manner. Her grand stage presence wows the audience as she interacts with the spectators. Her second act, with a rock'n roll beat, brings her a grand ovation from the whole crowd. You can almost hear all those hearts racing in the room, including the host's…! I am not convinced she is an amateur!

Although a newcomers contest, Burlesque Idol is not just about the contestants. The three judges delighted the crowd with a piece of their own repertoire. Easy to spot the pros, each one of them gave an outstanding performance. It is not just about the acts but the complicity they have with the audience. These three performers have a unique way of enticing the spectators.

This is what makes Burlesque Idol a great event. Not only the audience gets to vote for their favourite performance, but we also have the massive pleasure of enjoying three acts from eminent burlesque legends.
And tonight, the three judges certainly enthralled the spectators.

And so the time to reveal the winner arrived… As these gorgeous ladies entered the stage, waiting for the verdict, the energy in the room was one of excitement.  Everybody anticipated the results while shouting the name of their favourite performer.

But as always, only one can leave with the trophy, and tonight the winner was….. Whisky Falls…!!

Well deserved, as far as I am concerned, although I always admire the brilliance of all performers.

It was a great night, and judging by the participation of the crowd, it is one of the best events in London!

A must-see show, all the way till the end!

For more information, visit the House of Burlesque web site: www.houseofburlesque.co.uk

All House of Burlesque events are listed in: www.burlesquemap.co.uk

For full profiles of tonight's judges, some of the contestants and many more shows and events, order copies of Burlesque Map London at: http://www.burlesquemap.co.uk/buy_burlesque_map.asp

Eva Lamour

Photography by: JAMES DRURY

Barnaby Slater

Hermione Lydne

Signorina Fabialosa

Aurora Blu

Dolly Rose - Tempest Rose - Delores Deluxe

Susie Vavoom

Whisky Falls

Delores Deluxe

Tempest Rose

Dolly Rose

Winner: Whisky Falls