‘Porn is everywhere’, Irvine Welsh averred back in 2002, but a recent twelve-hour power cut to Castle Riley sadly proved how readily Irvine’s proclamation can be gainsaid. With not even so much as a half-charged laptop between us, my cohabitee and I were thrown back on the pastimes of a less technological age: parlour games and reading aloud.
Whether with laughter or desire, expect pulses to race at Spencer Maybe’s multi-character solo show. Based on the delightfully ludicrous premise of a God-ordained mission to save the world from ecological disaster – through the medium of burlesque – The Last Trilogy is one of the freshest experiences available to Fringe audiences this year.
In my humble but firm opinion the most evocative love song ever written is Those Foolish Things. The writers (Maschwitz and Strachey) deserve eternal credit. Among the lyrical gems are the words ‘silk stockings thrown aside as invitations’. If that doesn’t make you swoon with pleasurable images you must be dead. Now imagine ‘nylon tights lying in a crumpled heap tangled up with her knickers’. There’s no contest really. Watching a woman remove her tights is as off-putting as watching a bloke shed his socks. All right, it’s not as bad as that, especially if you are both hot to trot, but the process lacks finesse. I doubt that even Angelina Jolie could make it look great.
The Wages of Sin are Death, we well know, and of the Cardinal sort, Lust (Lechery, Fornication: take your pick) will always come high, if not highest on the list. For, bad enough taken on its own, in combination it colours each of the other six. As for the dark deed itself, it is, as old Sir Thomas Browne, himself a medical man, once said, ‘the foolishest act a wise commits in all his life, nor is there any thing that will more deject his cool’d imagination, when hee shall consider what an odde and unworthy piece of folly hee hath committed.’ Which altogether seems to rule well out of order that natural imperative which, unanswered, would leave none of us here at all. Very puzzling and confusing it is.
Years ago I inherited a Martini glass which accommodates a quarter of a litre of gin, so that’s what I use every Friday when I mix myself a large one. Rowley Leigh’s barman told me that you should splash a little Noilly Prat in the chilled glass, swirl it round and flick it away. Use Bombay Sapphire, pour a glassful over the ice and shake it until the silver flagon is misty with frost, return it to the glass to absorb the traces of Vermouth, add a slice of lemon zest if you like and feel the spirit slipping like frozen fire around your mouth.
A first-time reviewer walks into Bethnal Green’s Bistrotheque. Long story short, he doesn’t quite manage to find the punch-line.
What lies behind the tassels? Much more than a pair of twirling titties. Subtitled ‘stories, song and tease,’ Burlexe combines dramatic monologues and burlesque numbers in a collage of true stories taken from the biographies of real exotic dancers. Its all-female cast of actresses and burlesquers present a moving tribute to the stubborn independence and uncompromising ambition of the women who choose stripping as a medium for self-expression.
Slide Cabaret Club is a diamond in the rough and tumble of Oxford Street’s nightclub district. High ceilings, cherubic chandeliers and lustrous lighting give an atmosphere of glamour that’s a world away from Sydney’s usual dark basement bar ambience of a burlesque club. Most burlesque promoters in the UK would give their nipple tassels for a ballroom like this – so they would be spitting feathers to know that The Peel is primarily a new act night.