Monday, 30 May 2011

Lady Beau Peep and the League of the Extraordinary - cabaret in London

Leaving the buzz and atmospheric night life of Brick Lane, we entered the Brickhouse, an old red-brick building, wondering what it had to offer. Set on three floors, with the lounge bar at the top and a balcony on the second and third floor, this restaurant  cocktail bar hosts a number of shows throughout the week. Tonight we had the great thrill to anticipate Lady Beau Peep and the League of the Extraordinary, a burlesque cabaret showcasing established and new performers.

The venue is an intimate affair with a few tables on the ground and first floor, an ideal setting to enjoy a cozy meal whilst devouring a most wonderful show with the eyes.
The hostess and compère, Lady Beau Peep, opened the show like a true burlesque legend. Taking to the stage with her magnificent voice, her presence is full of seduction and sensuous authority.
Introducing each act with a song, Lady Beau turns hosting into a complete part of the show, proving her real qualities as a 'showman'.

Kiki Lovechild and his assistante Jessica Peru began with a 'furlesque' act. This ventriloquist with a vaudeville edge, dominated by a fury creature, gets stripped off his clothes, or nearly... Burlesque with a difference, bringing some parodic humour to the show.

To my great delight, Vivid Angel appeared on stage, to the tune of 'Big Spender' and covered in balloons. A great entertainer, who not only performed a sensual striptease but amused us with a very grateful spectator she picked from the crowd and whom she pinned onto a chair. The smile on his face said it all, when he had to lick whipped cream off Miss Angel's legs...!

Entering the stage with a vacuum cleaner and giving homage to Freddy Mercury, Marcos the Marvellous surprised the crowd as he performed 'I want to break free' to absolute perfection. A look-alike who attracted much ovation from the whole audience... After performing a most entertaining transformation, Marcos the Marvellous brought the whole crowd into awe with his acrobatic performance, swinging and balancing as a perfectly accomplished trapezist. 

And if the night didn't get you hot enough under the collar, Flame Haired Fire Cracker had all the equipment to hand to bring a flaming hot electrifying moment. A remarkable display of skills and saucy moves.

Lady Beau Peep and The League of the Extraordinary shows true vaudeville entertainment, burlesque at its best with a mixture of pastiche, mockery and tantalising striptease. All in all, real show business, with the acts threaded together by a most talented voice and  show girl that is Lady Beau Peep... Bravo!!!

Eva Lamour

Lady Beau Peep

Marcos the Marvellous  
Vivid Angel

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

Monday, 9 May 2011

Twisted Cabaret - London Burlesque Week 2011

Benjamin Louche

 Madame Jojo's hosted Chaz Royal's London Burlesque Week 2011 'Twisted Cabaret', showcasing a list of bizarre, eccentric and grisly acts. A show where theatrical cabaret met the dark, alternative burlesque entertainment.

Benjamin Louche, with his theatrical grandeur and eerie stare, was the perfect compère for this unconventional cabaret show, promising to take you beyond ordinary burlesque parody.

A rendez-vous for the weird, unusual and creepy, the audience anticipated this spectacle with much ardor. For those whose only experience of burlesque was limited to the vaudeville entertainment, light comic stage play, they were in for a real surprise.

And surprised the audience was, at the entertainment value of some of the bizarre acts. The Monsters of Schlock had us in waves of cheers and ghastly 'wows', with their most bizarre and eccentric 'condom' act, and others such as their mouse trap or should I say, 'head trap' act.

Whilst Vivid Angel had the audience screaming with her hilarious 'squirting vagina' that she, so generously, directed at the crowd, at the end of a witty, parodic sexual raunchy act.

But for weird, Big Chief Random Chaos performed some fire act in one of the oddest ways, setting fire to his mohican, and finishing amongst the audience for his finale, taking everybody by surprise, not knowing what he could possibly do next.

Yes, the 'Twisted Cabaret' was fabulously weirdly performed with some of the most eccentric acts in burlesque entertainment... A night not for the fainthearted! 

The Monsters of Schlock
Vivid Angel


Eva Lamour

Monday, 2 May 2011

London Burlesque Week 2011 - Opening Gala 26/4/11

Chaz Royal's London Burlesque Week 2011 opened its doors at the HMS President on Blackfriars bridge on the 26th April, promising to be a week of vaudeville entertainment, parodic humour and wit.

A time to mingle with the performers prior to the show, gave us, the Burlesque Map London team, quality time to chat and find out a bit more about each one, anticipating them on stage during the  week.

With a showcase of international performers, the show tonight 'Around the world in 80 minutes' brought pleasure to all the senses. Music, colours, costumes, humour, it had it all, true to a burlesque variety show.

The performances were powerful and entertaining, producing a well deserved response from the crowd, who, from where I was sitting, sounded delighted with the show.

We travelled from Spain, to the USA, Mexico, the Far East, passing through Egypt and onto Indonesia, with an array of superbly performed acts. Siren Stiletto, with her Mexican theme, and Tequila 'skirtrise'  injected a dose of Latin passion with songs performed by her accompanying Mexican musicians. No wonder the audience roared at the end with big applause...

The crowd was fantastically responsive on that first night, enjoying all the entertainers and without a doubt, our fabulous host and compère Ivy Paige.

Miss Paige, with her soft spoken voice, nonchalant disposition and dirty mind, entrances the audience and interacts in her very special way. A great act of her own!

Last year's LBW newcomer's winner, Ginger Blush, gave an outstanding performance, finishing with a brilliantly tassel twirling number, which attracted a well deserved applause and some standing ovation.

A much enjoyable first night, which has now set a high standard for the rest of the festival...!!

London Burlesque Week 2011, here we come...!!

Eva Lamour

Siren Stiletto

Ivy Paige and the Performers

Ginger Blush and her tassels!