Since we are five this year (yes, all grown up!) we thought we’d take you on a journey of our shows over the years – and a little bit of reminiscing about the good times (and a few hurdles!) So, let’s begin with 2010
February – Cabaret Rouge Cymru’s Mad Hatter’s Tea Party
In 2010, we started off with a bang at Carmarthen’s Lyric. There were over 200 in the audience and we also had our headliner RedSarah hosting her balloon workshop which was inspiring and a lot of fun. But let us tell you, it was hard work to organise (only because there was nothing like it in the area so difficult to predict who would come!), over a month of putting things in motion as South Wales and Carmarthen had never seen a show like this before and, joining forces with Carmarthenshire Theatres and calling the show Cabaret Rouge Cymru, we were unsure of the reception. Well, tickets flew out of the box office, but on the day before the show the compare we’d had lined up let us down. By enormous amazing luck, one of the performers we’d booked, Pesky DeVille’s travelling companion was a comp[are and basically saved the show! We owe all this to El Kapitan as we’re sure if he’d not stepped in to the breach, we wouldn’t have made it past one show. Joining RedSarah and Pesky DeVille on the bill was Kitty Kane (who you can see at our March Clwb Kaboom in Llanelli’s Ffwrnace Theatre) and the debut appearance of a certain trio, The Bay Belles…
May – Summer Swing
So, not ones to rest on our laurels – even if it looks like we had a few months off (we didn’t!) we set about planning, plotting and gathering feedback to move forward, and in March after a few meetings with the lovely Kate, who totally supported our show and wanted to bring it to Swansea’s Monkey cafe, we changed our name and booked a slot. The Summer Swing saw another of our favourites (and favourite people actually!) Diva Hollywood headline. As it was also the election year, we got political and brought Honey Wilde’s excellent ‘The Lady Is For Turning’ and the line-up was completed with Delilah Galore, Betty Blue Eyes and (of course!) fledgling performers The Bay Belles… We also teamed up with Aled and Chris of the Gas Station Bop – we were to be our partners in crime for many shows (until we hit the Grand, but they still provide our house music mixes, so they are still with us in spirit!) who provided the after party, where after the show, our lovely audience could stay, drink and dance until the early hours…
July – Nozstock Festival
In July we also headed to the Welsh borders of Hereford to bring Bluestocking to the Cabaret stage of Nozstock Festival. We had an absolute corking line-up featuring Missy Malone, Joe Black (who picked up a stalker during his set!), Pesky DeVille, glass-walking burlesquer Lexi Sexx, The Bay Belles, Cherry Stone, music from the Barry Holes Hit List (which were actually the Gas Station Bop doing some music with casio keyboards and a lot of fun!), Delilah Galore and more… But with this cracking line-up in place and an audience gathering more and more members by the minute, the sound guy (who had been given all the tech details for the show) had vanished, never to be seen again and the Bluestocking team had to come up with a back up plan to save the show. In walked our saviors in dubstep clothing, basically two DJs who were looking for a stage for the early hours to run their set. So in exchange for time they ran the show for us. Angels.
July – Vive La France
With the success of the May show, and realising Swansea needed a night like this to bring together all like-minded individuals with a love for alternative culture, cabaret and just generally having a great time, we booked a few more dates with the Monkey and became a permanent fixture. Our comper The Marquis DeRita became a permanent fixture, as did Delilah Galore and The Bay Belles, and we decided to make the shows themed every time so to add a bit of escapism. Our headliners continued in the same high quality (mainly because DeeDee and Lilly really wanted to see the performers in question but couldn’t travel at the time!), and July saw Beatrix Von Bourbon specially create a french-themed act for our Vive La France show. She was joined by the beautiful Banbury Cross and her Champagne Showgirl act is still a legendary experience and talked about even now by show-goers. We also had a newcomer slot taken by Tiger Tiger from Bristol who was also new to the burlesque journey that year.
September – Saints and Sinners
With the show packing out the upstairs of the Monkey every month we were really chuffed with the response. We loved (and continue to love!) seeing our beautiful audience dressed in their finery and particularly loved seeing what Bev and her friends would come dressed as… We think September was the year that ‘Trollop’ (Bev always has a character, you know!) came out of the woodwork! And we always give a prize for those who have gone to the most effort! Anyway, September saw acts that were both naughty and nice as Darkteaser hit the town with her opulent dark acts (and her super glue – but that’s another story!)… We also had Ally Katte from Bristol, whose Jasmine act was both beautiful and enchanting. Delilah brought out the saintly Florence Nightingale while The Bay Belles, now down to a duo performed Baylight Robbery – the once-only, never to be repeated burgalry themed act and Lilly and DeeDee both performed solos. Violet Noir took the opening slot.
November – Wicked Women at Carmarthen’s Lyric
Keen to get back in on the action again, the Lyric played host to a bevvy of naughty ladies when our Wicked Women show hit the stage. Lily Belle was our guest host for the occasion, bringing her cheeky sense of humour to the stage, and some games with cakes! Diva Hollywood was our headliner once more and brought her Ruthless Love act, complete with hangman, back to life for the night. We also had acts from the darkly delicious Fifi Fatale and comedy from Betty Blue Eyes… Lilly Laudanum brought her Barbara Cartland-themed pinkery and also revived one of Jack The Ripper’s victims for the night while Delilah Galore did some sinning.
December – Viva Las Vegas Christmas!
And so ended our first year, back at the Monkey and with one of the audience’s favourites in the headline slot. We moved the stage for this show to the side as we were aware of the sight lines (and the massive effin pillar!) right in the middle of the actual stage, and hopefully more of you lovely audience could see the action. The Marquis DeRita became Elvis for the evening, and those lovely Burly Chassis ladies (who had been to every show so far, accompanying Bev) performed a sassy christmassy routine. The Bay Belles took the audience to the casino and one audience member has a bit of a snowy surprise as DeeDee reached behind the huge snowflake fan to grab a handful of fake snow; when she blew it out, it went straight into a lovely lady’s mouth… Delilah became a christmas present and we had two fantastic guest performers – Sophia St Villier ensured the evening went with a bang with her wonderful balloon pop routine and we just had to have Banbury Cross – and all that champagne – back to close the year! You went wild for her – and we recall even rolled around in the champers (well, Stacey, of the newly-opened-at-the-time Revue Studios did!). We also recall a certain tipsy soon-to-be Tickety Boo and her friend Leanne who begged us to start lessons (the rest, as they say, is history on that front!). Also we have to point out, that was the year it snowed. And HARD. So many people made it through the storm to join us for Christmas – and more importantly, made it home safely afterwards. Behind the scenes lights were out, the upstairs changing area was flooded and freezing cold – and then, the next morning the lovely Sophia and Lilly had to dig the car out of 30cm deep snow to ensure Sophia and Banbury Cross could make it back to London. Poor Banbury Cross must have been freezing as she was wearing a lovely dress and heels!
December also saw our first ever burlesque taster workshop. Our lovely Stacey had kept her eye on a studio for almost a year and finally at the end of 2010, after a lot of hard work, planning, painting, knocking down walls and basically hard graft, Revue Studios was born. We celebrated the opening of our friend’s studio by performing a fan dance for the guests and holding a 30-min taster workshop, which incidentally, featured the only males we’ve ever taught! Yes, Matt, we still remember the dropping and ‘burlesque pick up’ of your lighter!
So with our first year over, we decided to do it all over again in 2011… Next look back tomorrow!