Ooh, did we tell you? We’re eight years old as tonight’s show marks eight years since we first put on a cabaret/burlesque show at Carmarthen’s Lyric Theatre. Who would have thought we’d still be here eight years later, still producing shows every other month (and sometimes extra shows, such as our Clwb Kaboom in Llanelli and the big theatre shows we used to run once a year), featuring international level artists eight years later? Here’s Lilly Laudanum’s recollection of that night…
I can still remember the near-disaster of our first show. This time, eight years ago I was worried but weirdly calm. A compere – you know, just one of the most important features of the show, as they are the glue which holds everything together! – had just let us down – literally JUST let us down and with hours to spare, and quite a distance for anyone to travel to get to Carmarthen in time, I decided that I may have to pick up the mic and brush up on my hosting skills. My hosting skills are very limited and very sweary… and sometimes flip into Dungeon-style “jokes” (having been an ‘inmate’ at the London Dungeon for four years, that dark-but-crappy level of “improvised” humor never completely leaves your system). So ‘hosting outfit’ was packed, alongside costumes for two Bay Belles acts.
And on that note, one of the reasons, aside from the fact there was no cabaret or burlesque scene in this part of Wales and certainly no night-life for us old alternative/goth/punk/rock/anyone that wants to look nice without getting spewed on or bothered by twats down Wind Street* [delete where appropriate] types I started this whole shebang was because of The Bay Belles. I’d moved to Wales two years before but because of living out in the sticks and working freelance, I hadn’t met any like-minded friends. Randomly, there was a weekend of burlesque workshops in the Gower (run by Lollipop Lounge from Cheltenham and featuring the likes of Lady Cheek, Missy Malone and Leyla Rose as teachers). I knew I had to go to this to make friends – so off I went. And it was the best decision ever! I met DeeDee and Jayne and we formed The Bay Belles. Little did they know, that just under two months after we formed, and started working on a couple of routines, we would be hitting the stage in a newcomer slot on a show I was producing. And this is what happened. Technically, we made the show happen so we could perform! But we also created the show to bring excellent performers down to wales and have a bloody good time with like-minded burly lovers too!
So, onto the show… We had an awesome line-up for our first outing – even if I do say so myself! One of our all-time favourite performers RedSarah (pictured) headlined with her Queen of Tarts and fire acts, while Kitty Kane provided a little bit of vintage magic… Speaking of magic, we had the wonderful Peski DeVille, a performer with bags of talent, part magician, part sideshow but very clever and funny acts. She was brilliant! and we owe her more than she knows, as packed up in her car was El Kapitan – who had accompanied her for a jolly – and who just happened to be a compere! So they basically saved the day (and the audience from my shit jokes, blue language, etc)
So, the show did go on! It was a packed house and as it had gone so well, we decided to do another – this time in Swansea and Bluestocking Lounge was born.
Nowadays we have a wonderful compere in the shape of DeeDee, who I couldn’t have done any of this without (btw, if you’re at the bar, she’ll have a pint of wine)! Remember, I met her by chance at the burlesque weekend down the Gower! We also have a great team, which features Dawn (who you sometimes get to see a little bit more of – you love the crack of Dawn, and also her characters, which occasionally make and outing!) as our stage manager, and Nik, who co-produces the show with me and Amie aka Miss Moth Photography, who takes the pics of the shows. We’ve also got a brilliant home at Swansea Grand Theatre Arts Wing, where we’ve been putting on shows since December 2011…
And we’re very proud to say we are one of the longest running regular cabaret shows in Wales! We’re proud of every performer that hits the stage, whether an international level burlesque idol or newcomer, taking their first steps in their career! A massive thank you to everyone who has made our shows so fantastic so far!
AAANNNDDD! We couldn’t (and actually wouldn’t!) do the show without you lovely audience, who come out in your finery, show after show. We hope you’ve enjoyed yourselves so far – we’ve got plenty more to come! Here’s to the next birthday!
Our Fight For Your Right To Party birthday show is tonight at Swansea Grand Theatre Arts Wing. Doors open 7.30pm. Get there early for the best seats in the house as we never charge a premium for VIP seats
Dates to note:
March 10 – Our Clwb Kaboom, featuring Oh! Carolina, Carrie Couture, Demon Wilde, Lotus Sisters, Flissy Tease and more, is back at Llanelli’s Ffwrnes. Head over here for tickets: Theatre box office
April 7 – Masterclass workshops with International turkish Dancer Ozgen. Head over here for tickets and details
April 7 – Our Flowers of Romance show featuring one of our favourite burlesque headliners Lady Wildflower, and without question, one of the world’s leading male belly dancers Ozgen. Head over here for tickets.
May 4 – Bank Holiday Special mini show with Urban Voodoo Machine at Sin City. Some of our regulars will be performing before the bands. Head over here for more info