★★★★ | House of Burlesque
International burlesque sensation Tempest Rose’s House of Burlesque is an evening of comedy, circus, music, politics and, yes, several beautiful ladies wearing very little. Above all else though, it’s an evening of glamorous, decadent fun.
The first thing to strike you as the introductory group dance starts is the sheer variety of shapes on view – not just wafer thin model types; these are real ladies with real ladies’ curves, and the evening is all the better for it.
Tempest Rose has a natural warmth which suits her role as ring mistress perfectly. Her humour and quick wit, combined with a touch of sass and oodles of sex appeal, hold the audience in the palm of her perfectly manicured hands from the very moment she takes the stage. She has a voice as smooth as velvet and her rendition of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is one of the most beautiful covers I have heard.
The first solo performance comes from Betsy Rose, who gives us a military themed routine, moving in perfect unison with the beat. This is a lady who knows her body and how to work it to both excite and entice her audience, striking just the right level of suggestion and sexuality.
The wonderfully expressive Audacity Chutzpah slips from one persona to another with grace during a routine that is as comedic as it is political. As she charts the women’s rights movement through the decades, one cannot help but think that if all history lessons were like this, a lot more people would take note.
Rapidly becoming a firm favourite of mine, the delightfully sensual Jolie Papillon performs a peacock routine that shows her off to her very best. This girl can move, and does so with a sensuality and provocative grace that is undeniably erotic. Also, as if purposefully, her peacock tail gives me the feathery fabulousness I so desperately crave, thereby restoring my gay credentials for a review in which I’m aware it sounds like they’re rapidly diminishing!
Proving once and for all just how hot burlesque can be, Trixi Tassels enters in a black leather trenchcoat and demonstrates within seconds the command she holds over her audience. In a perfectly choreographed fire-based routine, the seams of her clothes simply melt away.
Other excellent performances on the night come from Leonie Soprano (the vanishing showgirl), Jo Foley and Graeme Clint (comedic acrobatic trapeze duo) and Chloe Hannah Lloyd (hula hoops). All acts were ably assisted by the “Stage Kittens” Fille J’adore and Gracie Disgrace.
Whatever your persuasion; whether you fancy men or women, both or neither, or any variation thereof, this is a deliciously decadent night that dazzles and delights all who attend.
House of Burlesque returns to the London Wonderground on September 5 and 11. Tickets are £15.50 from www.londonwonderground.co.uk/houseofburlesque