Swinging Burlesque Boudoir
Swinging Burlesque Boudoir bedecks an amusing hour of variety entertainment with an inspiring vintage charm. Curated by Missy Fatale, the evening intersperses old-fashioned cheesecake beauties with clever magic tricks.
The burlesque half of the bill adheres to an underlying prewar atmosphere, going for graceful moves and delicate sensuality. Ms. Fatale helms the ship with a dainty flapper act, doing a dapper Charleston in a fringed blue dress, as well as disrobing to Benny Goodman in a sinuous, elegant fan dance.
Guest dancers Ruby Deshabille and Billie Rae aptly extend the vintage theme. The latter adds a touch of sideshow nostalgia with a provocative flaming torch dance, displaying an impressive command of the element – the Brighton belle deftly puts it out and lights it up again, rubs it all over her body and breathes repeated fireballs over a mesmerized audience. Ms. Deshabille cranks up her performance with a multi-volunteer routine that sees her stripping gradually to unsuspecting punters arrayed in a row of chairs. One by one, her suitors are discarded, except for the lucky chap who finds a wedding ring under his seat. Volunteers clever enough to do the right thing (go down on one knee and propose – what else?) are rewarded with the chance to catch the bride as she nimbly jumps into his arms. Being the remaining suitor in November’s first show, I’ll promptly vouch for Ruby’s nimbleness.
Swinging Burlesque Boudoir enjoys the added treat of congenial comic tricks by magician Christian Lee. Hosting the evening with natural charisma and the odd dose of self-deprecating wit, the prestidigitator warms the audience with disarming numbers that are as impressive for his accomplished sleight-of-hand dexterity as for the humorous routines dressing them. Tables float, spoons become forks and balloons turn into wine bottles at the blink of an eye. An especially impressive act of Mr. Lee’s sees four volunteers remain seated despite the removal of their chairs, after achieving near-Zen balance by holding vodka shots in the air. His card tricks, on the other hand, can linger a little too much before their climax.
In true vintage spirit, Swinging Burlesque Boudoir offers a mix of cool elegance and unassuming amusements. With Volupté’s customary post-show DJ dance sets, it’s certainly a great way to unwind on a Friday evening.
Swinging Burlesque Boudoir. Organized by Missy Fatale. Volupté Lounge, London. 18:30 and 21:30. £15. Check www.volupte-lounge.com for upcoming dates.