Skip to main content

Review of The Burlesque Show 2016 at Royal & Derngate, Northampton

It was all about deja vu at The Burlesque Show at Royal & Derngate this year, and that wasn't the name of one of the exotic burlesque dancers. The feeling set in very early as Miss Peggy Sued our host once again, launched into Copacabana in her own inimitable style. It set the scene for perhaps a good sixty per cent of the evening having uncanny similarities to the 2015 show.

To be fair it was great to see much of it again, Miss Peggy Sued (aka Abi Collins) is a wonderfully enthusiastic and very funny host and looking beyond the fact that many of the jokes had been heard before, she constantly entertained. There were some lovely little extras, I am sure indeed that the "giveashitometer" has indeed been used since people heard it on the show, and I loved the local touches, including the departure of our Greyfriars bus station since her last visit. However I would have liked to have seen the "other host" this year as I thought on the night I was going to get to see.

There was a hint of familiarity also with three of the acts, with the returning Immodesty Blaize performing two routines (including the closing act). They were different from last year, but I still tended to think I had seen it all before, so to speak. She was though as before perfectly precise and stylish, even dealing with a dramatic wardrobe malfunction professionally.

Also returning, at first once again separated were Rod Laver and Alexandra Hofgartner, who performed their own identical routines from 2015 and then in the second half combined to do their identical combined routine again. It is all highly entertaining and I was able to listen to the gasps around me to re experience the shear thrill of seeing Mr Laver's slightly grotesque routine for the first time. Also although her routines were the same, I have to say I could probably happily watch the wonderful Alexandra many times for many reasons.

However for all the repetition we did have some wonderful new acts, the best of which was the magnificently inventive Kiki Lovechild and his mime routines. The first act showed clever use of a floppy folding hat as he effortlessly eased it into shapes along to a sound track. It was always entertaining and often quite hilarious. His second act performance had a more delicate and joyful touch as he went butterfly catching, including a brief excursion into the audience. For all its comic ideals, it also had a quite poetic and moralistic story to tell and really was quite wonderful.

There were two new burlesque acts in the form of Oriana and Sophie Cain. The former is actually described as a "plus size" artist and she is. However I wonder why that should matter as burlesque is all about pride in the body, so why highlight this. It was a lovely routine and she was very much able to get the tassels a twirling.

Sophie Cain took the alternative route of burlesque and took it straight down the comedy route including outrageously exaggerated butt and some major droopy action on the top half. It was a fresh and busy performance that was greatly enjoyable. I understand from online research (these things must be done) that she is also a circus act performer, so it is quite a shame that we didn't get to see some this in the second half (and less of the repetition).

The final new act came as quite a surprise as we were treated to a male pole dancer including excessive bum cleavage. It was quite clever to have a gentleman dancer for the night and made a genuine bit of variety, and my god was it impressive in skill. There was some staggering strength on show.

A final mention goes back to host Peggy Sued and the quite tremendous audience participant Stephen, who was genuinely an impressive addition. That moment of someone on stage can go very wrong, on that night Miss Sued picked a good one and it genuinely made up for a lot of the repeated material on show.

So, yes a wonderful variety night again and for newcomers, I am absolutely sure they would have left delighted. However for 2017, the pot really does need stirring on the material front to keep this fresh and entertaining.
«««« (If you haven't attended the show before)««« (If you have seen the show previous years)

Performance reviewed: Friday 22nd January, 2016 at the Royal & Derngate (Royal), Northampton.

The Burlesque Show was at the Royal & Derngate (Royal) Friday 22nd - Saturday 23rd January, 2016.

For further details about the Royal & Derngate visit their website at http://www.royalandderngate.co.uk/



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Review of Rules For Living at Royal & Derngate (Royal), Northampton

It is possibly a rule in life for a few in the audience for the opening night of Sam Holcroft's domestic comedy Rules For Living not to mention Christmas until December. Therefore anyone of such a persuasion might have been a little perturbed to be presented on the 13th September with, an undeniably brilliantly dressed, homely Christmas scene.

Opening up in glorious dollhouse style and on a gorgeous little hinge, this little home of living room and kitchen sets the scene for a typical family Christmas. Mother Edith (Jane Booker) welcomes her sons, Matthew (Jolyon Coy) and Adam (Ed Hughes) and their respective partners, Carrie (Carlyss Peer) and Nicole (Laura Rogers) And with a final dramatic arrival of father Francis (Paul Shelley), the scene is very much set for comic antics of the highest calibre.

The first thing you get from Rules For Living in the first few minutes is the arrival of one of the most brilliant, yet simple concepts I have seen for a while in the play. These are …

Review of Make Way For Lucia by John Van Druten at The Playhouse Theatre, Northampton

There have been a couple of television versions of the Mapp & Lucia novels by E. F. Benson over the years and irrespective of which generation version you might have seen, the roles of Miss Mapp and Mrs. Lucas were filled with some heavyweight performers. So taking on these roles could, in theory, be a challenge too much to live up to. However, that would be if the characters themselves were less the sum of the performer. These are great characters on paper as well as on stage and therefore Gena McCrystal (Miss Mapp) and Juliet O'Connor (Lucia) make them very much their own in the stage adaption by John Van Druten.

Lucia has arrived and breezed both into the town of Tilling and the musical chair roundabout of house rental that is want to occur here. Her rented property is Miss Mapp's and for some reason, Mapp fails to follow the routine of keeping away, constantly "popping in", so the battle lines are drawn.
Make Way for Lucia is the typical battle of supremacy i…

Review of Once Upon A Grimm Tale by The Royal & Derngate Actors Company (Early) at Judge's Lodgings, Northampton

Once upon a time, there was a brave theatrical reviewer. He lived in a market town in deepest darkest Englaland, where many great and remarkable things of stage did occur. At the centre of this wondrous world of performing spectacles was a place referred to by many as the Royal Derngatus, a place of people pretending to be other people and telling tales of mystery, intrigue and frolics.

Within the fortressed walls of Royal Derngatus, there were a group of fearless players who entertained local folk for no reward, other than the thrill of seeing the joy in the faces of others. Those group of artists went by the name of Actors Companus, which many pronounced carefully when they did say it out loud. This group of merry men and women did have two forms, an early and a late, and but two days before this adventurous evening of forthcoming storytelling, the late group did perform for a third and final time a most amazing feat of theatre, going by the name of Great Expectations.


Our hero of thi…