In our look back over the past five years, we hit 2012 – a great year! The year we introduced Swansea to boylesque (yes, you, the audience went wild!), DeeDee found a new role and we continued to bring some of the best performers the UK has to offer to Swansea…
January – Excess All Areas
January saw the likes of Susie Sequin, Daisy Champagne, Viva Misadventure, Primrose Proper, Lilly Laudanum and The Sextembers hit the stage. We also had a very special change for the better when DeeDee took over hosting the show. DeeDee had been there from the very start and just loved all the performers so it made sense to have her raving about them down the mic. She was promised that the show ‘wouldn’t be that busy’ seeing as it was january, but the show sold out weeks before the show, making for slight pre-show nerves but DeeDee slotted into the role very nicely! She also slotted into a shopping trolley and was delivered onto the stage in style by our Dawn! We had a troupe taking us to the casino for the night, as The Sextembers, a group that had formed from our September intake of classes, decided they wanted to air what they had learned. A show that certainly lived up to it’s name, with gorgeous performances from our guests Viva Misadventure (cheeky and sassy), Daisy Champagne – we loved her nod to chav culture and our headliner Susie Sequin who wowed the crowd.
March – Spring Fling
We were very excited about the March show since we were bringing Missy Malone to town. Missy had been there at the start of Lilly and DeeDee’s burlesque journey, when they met at a workshop down the Gower in 2009 (one-off never to be repeated – in fact they can’t even believe it was real, however have made lovely friends like Rachel, Clara, Faye and more to prove it happened!) and Missy performed at the show attached to the workshops at Swansea’s Monkey a few days after. The Spring Fling show sold out in record time! Joining Missy on the bill were Penny Bizarre – we loved her cheeky Northern style! Sandy Sure’s Charlie and the Chocolate factory act, complete with Oompa Loompa was amazing. We also saw Boris and Doris in action, Primrose Proper had a spring clean and Lilly performed her tribute to Lady Macbeth for the last time. DeeDee and Dawn perfected their double act and we seem to remember there were some fantastically attired audience members!
April – Tales of the Unexpected, Carmarthen’s Lyric
April saw us hit Carmarthen for our annual theatre show with an eclectic line-up and an arm-load of razor-blade infested apples, wolves, lizards, the worst pie in London, sinning in the garden of eden and more! Our line-up was headed up by the lovely Amelie Soliel who was the perfect pocket-sized showgirl, so small she could fit into a glass jar (and that’s exactly what she did!) she also ate a dangerous apple – yes, the afore mentione razor blades. Also eating apples was Oh Carolina – or rather drinking them in her Eve act, while Tuesday Laveau once again cast her Voodoo spell over the audience and turned into a sexy wolf! Lilly Laudanum baked a pie and Sandy Sure bit into a massive blue bottle in the guise of a lizard. Yes, it’s never just fans and sequins with us!
May – Garden Of Unearthly Delights
This was definitely one of our favourite shows – we visited the great outdoors which was full of surprises including a garden gnome, a frog, a butterfly, some unruly bushes and a great big blooming marrow! We introduced you to boylesque for the first time courtesy of Flixx Demontrant, who travelled all the way from Chesterfield for the occasion. DeeDee says she’s never felt an atmosphere change so quickly as when Flixx hit the stage. What had been a show with an excited audience (we always love it when you are excited!) turned into wild. We never knew frogs could have this effect on audiences! We also totally loved Shirley Windmill’s Marrow – oh yes, what a beauty indeed, and Mia Merode’s butterfly and the Cottingly Fairy acts were so enchanting. Tickety Boo debuted her gnome come home act while Lilly trimmed some rather over grown bushes, yes, live on stage. And Dawn ate some butterflies from DeeDee’s hand. Again, what a glamorous audience, as the pics above prove!
June – Enchanted Garden Ball
In june we did something different! Armed with a team of Welsh Bluestocking regulars – Betty Blue Eyes, Sandy Sure, Tickety Boo and Lilly Laudanum, plus our rent-a-gent stage manager Chris, we headed across the border and for Exeter where we teamed up with our friends at Kinky & Quirky to host the burlesque stage at the Enchanted Garden Ball – a night in the leafy surrounds of the double locks, where we put on four shows into the late summer night. It got surreal, very surreal, especially two or three shows in, when it was like a weird case of burlesque groundhog day, but it was one of the greatest experiences ever. Magic happened that night. We can’t tell you what magic as it’s not our story to tell. The audiences packed our marquee for all four shows and Lilly took to the mic as Barbara Cartland, spreading the love, and asking one well-heeled student type (we think he was called Tarquin) if he had a yaght in his pocket or was he just pleased to see us. turned out it was both! Magically, what had been a day of downpour turned into a beautiful evening and party-goers dressed in their prom gowns had a brilliant and decadent night.
July – Jewels of the Nile
We stayed on our travels for July’s Jewells of the Nile show when things took an exotic twist – literally, thanks to the Exotic Luna Rosa. she had us all spellbound and captivated with her electricity and just, exoticness! She ran a pre-show workshop at Revue Studios on femininity and bump and grind which was inspiring and memorable and her acts were loaded with sensuality. Lou Leigh Blue’s Mummy came out to play (we love this act!) and Oh Carolina brought her cheeky charm via her Silver Cascade act. We also had tribal fusion belly dance courtesy of Pearl Boheme, one of the most serpent-like on the scene. She also held a pre-show workshop. Dawn, well, Dawn – what can we say? Someone should have told her about the camel toe… and Boris and Doris got physical. We think you audience looked the best ever, when the lovely Peter Gamble came dressed to explore and Revue’s Stacey turned into ‘Princess Consuela’ for the night. She will never forget that…
September – Little Shop of Horrors
We went a bit 1800s for our September show when FooFoo LaBelle headlined with her fantastic War Of The Worlds act (and we think this might have been one of the first appearances of Barri Island who cameoed as a professor…) she also closed the show with her ode to Bladerunner, the beautiful Pris act. We saw Luli Blue’s clockwork doll come to life and also her cheeky clown touch herself (oooh matron!) while Felicia Noir got out her jugs. Two massive jugs full of beer. Primrose Proper went back to Bluebeard’s Castle again and Lilly Laudanum revived the dead in her homage to Jack The Ripper’s second victim, complete with evisceration.
November – Putting On The Ritz
November was a very exciting show for us as it featured two performers we’d been trying to bring down to Wales for a long time – Lena Mae and Velma Von Bon Bon. As it turns out, Lena’s connections to Lilly go quite a bit further back than the burlesque scene! Lena’s acts are a joy to behold – she always looks so chuffed! Plus she covered the stage with more glitter than an explosion in a gem factory, which saw various audience members rolling around on the stage at the end of the night to try and share the glitter love (we be they were finding it in all sorts of places for the next week or so!) Velma’s scooby doo-themed act was brilliantly spot on and her Fran Fandango was just so detailed, as she took us on a journey with an explosive ending. The beautiful Poppy Vanguard came out to play, while Betty Blue Eyes’ Liberace gave us a naked rendition. The Childcatcher gave out some Lollipops (apparently they were all free today) and one unlucky audience member was captured in a cage, and Boris and Doris headed for Dirty Doris’ parlor… All in a night’s work!
December – Myths and Legends
Well, we couldn’t have a year of shows without a christmassy-type thing at the end, could we? 2012 had been the most shows we’d put on in one year so we ended with a bang and took you, the audience, to lands far nand wide, to tales of myth and legend. Headliner Diva Hollywood’s fairy was enchanting – we love it that she sneezes glitter! While her mermaid character is still one of our favourite acts. Glorian Gray took us to the music hall with a rather naughty song and bounced her way across the Blue Danube and Honey Holiday and Didi Curv’e showed us a little magic (where did all those briefs come from?). Dawn took to the pole – you’ve never seen her like this, have you? Well, her gravity defying skills showed she is more than just the ‘crack of dawn’. We also had a pole act from ‘sweet transvestite’ Alan, and Primrose Proper was the beautiful angel from the top of the tree. Tickety Boo’s elf brought the spirit of Christmas and Lilly Laudanum headed to Baghdad where she, as Aladdin, attempted to open the cave of wonders with her sword.
Also in 2012, we co-produced the Welsh Burlesque Festival with Cardiff Burlesque’s FooFoo LaBelle and brought together burlesque lovers and performers from across Wales to the capital for a day of workshops, newcomer shows and the gala performance to close the evening.
Part three of our retrospective takes in the sights of 2013… stay tuned!