Review: An Evening Of Burlesque
Venue: Grand Opera House, York, November 30
York was in for a real treat with the raucous revelry that is An Evening Of Burlesque.
Having dressed up as the flyer requested, decked out in our corsets and burlesque skirts, we arrived to some rather odd looks from the majority of the audience who were dressed in their standard Saturday evening finery. Oops!
There were a large number of burlesque virgins in the packed audience, having been asked to identify ourselves by a show of hands, and we weren’t quite sure what we were in for.
Our stunning hostess for the evening, Ivy Paige, sashayed onto the stage and soon had us feeling relaxed and excited for the entertainment to come.
Instead of being internationally acclaimed she advised us she was internationally ignored: trust me, there’s no way you can ignore Ivy, as audience member Anthony quickly found out. After having his stripy hooded cardigan picked on as unsuitable attire for a burlesque show, he became her companion of choice for the rest of the night. He was an incredibly good sport, participating several times on stage.
Ivy had several costume changes, oozing glamour in every one, and her singing was outstanding. She has a wicked sense of humour, and handled heckling and audience remarks with witty and snappy comebacks.
The four dancers making up the Folly Mixtures performed together and individually. Flixley Splits had the audience joining in with her rendition of All That Jazz, proving she’s very vocally talented, as well as an enthusiastic dancer.
Ula Loo came on stage brandishing a sparking angle grinder, wearing a glittery boiler suit, and gave a great rendition of Flashdance, her sparkly leg warmers very reminiscent of the Eighties. Somehow I doubt the guys in the audience noticed the leg warmers as the boiler suit was quickly discarded.
Liberty Sweets performed the fan dance. She was a real pleasure to watch, not least because of her facial expressions They really helped her tell her story in every dance, and showed just how much she was enjoying performing.
Ella Boo looked stunning, and again, her pleasure at being on stage really showed in her face.
Magician Christian Lee arrived looking like a Vegas reject, but was hugely popular with the audience – although inflating a giant orange balloon with a leaf blower then putting it on his head was rather bizarre. He press ganged a volunteer from the audience as his lovely assistant in a very drawn out card trick, and thanks to his flirty sense of humour soon had her dirty dancing with him.
Chloe Hannah Lloyd did a hula hoop act that absolutely wowed the audience who were extremely vocal in their appreciation. It’s bad enough she could do the splits so easily, but then keeping the hoops moving as well definitely pleased the crowd.
However her most colourful performance was turning herself into a human slinky with a multitude of coloured hoops, it would have made an amazing photo.
For me the best performances, in what was already a pretty impressive show, came from Amber Topaz. Looking like a red haired Forties bombshell she wowed us with a Jessica Rabbit performance in a stunning red dress (don’t ask what she did with her rabbit, but it had us howling with laughter), before stripping down to a G-string and tassels.
What a voice! She later came back on stage dressed in an amazing black tasselled outfit to perform and sing Life Is A Cabaret – it was tongue in cheek, hilarious and skilful.
There was an element of humour in all the performances, none of the acts taking themselves too seriously. The singers had strong, clear voices that weren’t overpowered by the music. The costumes were varied and fitted each routine, with glitter, sparkles, and tassels aplenty.
The male audience members certainly appreciated the copious amounts of bottom wiggling going on, and the extremely skimpy costumes.
This was a highly entertaining and classy evening, and I’d definitely go see this show again if it returned to York – as I suspect would a large number of the rest of the audience.
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