Things to Shake and Do

October 6, 2009

So where have I been? Where haven’t I been? Woof… To begin with I had a rather fabulous evening at Beyond The Cabaret’s Midnight show @The Tigers Rear just the other week. Come to think of it… where were you? London’s highest quality cabaret show, Time Out’s Critics Choice; and yet my darlings, without the publicity it deserves there were far too few to enjoy it. If you haven’t heard about this night check out their website and head on over to the next event possible! It’s situated right next to Tiger Tiger on the Haymarket (London) – right down the alley to the left-hand side of it. I have to say it’s one of the best night’s entertainment I’ve seen in a long time, and surely it beats the other alternative on a Wednesday night; getting ripped off at some crummy club only to listen to some techno rubbish and watch drunk people attempt to not fall over.

Check out the acts – read the fabulous reviews about them (Frisky and Mannish are one of my absolute favourites) and book your tickets! It’s only a matter of time before one of the best kept secrets in Cabaret becomes a sell-out. Trust me my darlings, I’ve seen my fair share of the Burly-Q and Cabaret to know that this one is one to watch out for… and if I don’t see you there at the next one I shall be very cross indeed.

As for me, if you’ve been keeping up with my Twitter updates (Follow me!) then you’ll know I performed on Sunday at East Croydon’s ‘The Glitter Room’. It was the return of my Diamond Dogs routine, revisited and updated, with a few sexy twists – pictures to follow – and seemed to go down rather well. I’ll be bringing it out again on the 17th Oct for an event aimed at raising money for Stonewall’s ‘Some people are gay. Get over it.’ campaign. Check their website for more information on how they’re trying to combat homophobia.

Now then, due to the infrequemcy of my postings (and apologies for that but I always find myself so busy!) here are some things to keep you occupied until we meet again:

  • WATCH –¬† ‘Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day’, a charming film with gorgeous costumes and a fabulous soundtrack – it’s one of those films I keep going back to when in need of a girly, vintage fix.
  • GO SEE – ‘Beyond The Cabaret’s’ next show – you will not regret it, and you will laugh your head off!
  • READ – ‘The Song Is You’ by Megan Abbott – steeped in the sultry glamour of fifties Hollywood, this is a stylistic murder mystery well worth a look.
  • MAKE – yourself a fascinator, a corsage, anything that makes you feel a little bit gorgeous and lets you unleash your creative side – they’re simple enough to put together – just gather together some feathers, ribbons, fake flowers, sequins; whatever you have lying around, and make youself something to match your favourite outfit. Then put it on, pour yourself a cocktail… and remember how amazingly fabulous and talented you are. If you feel you have a knack for it – why not try a workshop.
  • WEAR – a pair of seamed stockings (not tights) during the day. Best worn with suspenders and the idea that you are Sophia Loren placed firmly in your head. No-one need know what’s hiding underneath your skirt, but you can let them guess as you adjust your seams!
  • TAKE A PEEK AT ‘The Chap’ Magazine. This month’s issue (you can catch it once every two months from any reputable and half-decent newsagents) features pictures from the reknowned ‘Chap Olympics’ and articles not only to inform, but to thoroughly entertain the discerning reader. Whether Chap or Chapette, get your hands on the latest copy, and see if you don’t find yourself becoming a regular subscriber.

Well then darlings, as the French have it,

Adieu x

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So what is my mantra again? Well… (and feel free to join in with me):

“A picture is worth a thousand words…”

So bearing that in mind my darlings rather than rant on and on about the things I’ve been up to during my overly long absence I thought I’d share with you some pictures instead.

First up – remember me telling you oh-so-long ago that I premiered my Diamond Dogs act at Smooch Rocks? Well at long last I have a snapshot to show you and give your eyes a rest from all that red I’m normally trussed up in!

(not quite as ‘fluffy’ as my other routines)

If you want to see the reveal… you’ll just have to come see the show!

Photos (c) Zerrin

The next picture isn’t a performance pic – but an example of how I made it through Glastonburly in style thanks to my Mahni Dare headress:

And last but not least, a couple of photos courtesy of James Reynard at The Sensual Image of my Billet Doux act, taken at the Cabaret and Burlesque Meetup.

Right my lovelies, I promise to put together a proper blog post soon with info about upcoming acts etc… but very busy bee at the moment so hoping these will keep you occupied for now!



As promised to all those lovelies that voted for me (click here and vote if you haven’t already!) here are some pictures of last night’s performance – which you should have all seen by the way!:

Me and my man… ahhh… So we arrive on the stage so I can show off my new outfit and he goes and sticks me with a bill for it all! Of course with no cash in my wallet I have to give it all back to him. Just as well he prefers me without my clothes on!

LBF continued…

May 5, 2008

Ok so there is so much to write and as far as I’m concerned a picture speaks a thousand words; so have a couple on me…

Mamzelle FiFi and I

(c) Donata Zanotti

Mamzelle FiFi and I on the night of the International Gala.

Maid

(c) Michael Prior

My bum… a popular shot for photographers…

So a couple of weeks ago I get a call from one of the guys who run a fab Burlesque night; Ska Burlesque, asking me if I’d come along and do some flyering in return for free entry to their night at the Macbeth on Hoxton Road. Free Burlesque?? Why of course I’ll come help! With the amazing added bonus that the lovely Millie Dollar was performing, then how could I refuse?

Ska Burlesque

It was a mission and a half to make it to Hoxton Road; meeting the organisers at Old St. tube station we high tailed it across East London getting lost along the way and eventually making it to the Macbeth. The venue is really quite nice with a roof terrace upstairs for smokers and definitely room and a half to swing a cat. The only real problem that emerged later was with the stage… with Ska bands performing there were a whole load of instruments taking up all the room so when it came to the turn of the Burly-Q babes there wasn’t that much room for them to move. The true professionals that they were, I have to say all of the girls performing carried on regardless and shimmied on through.

Before I get on with the show I’ll tell you a bit about my adventure in flyering as much of East London as I could muster. The aim: Get to Brick Lane and back before 9 O’Clock. Having got a little lost on the way we asked for directions to Brick Lane… not the wisest move as it turned out… tottering around in my heels and seamed stockings (is there another way to flyer?) we managed to trek half way across London in search of Brick Lane only to end up walking down some scary looking side alleys where people didn’t seem too interested in a Burlesque night. Just as we were losing hope I heard a woman on her mobile; “Yeah… we’re just on our way to Brick Lane now” Success! So, after some subtle following we reached our destination and there was the occasional cry of ‘Oooh!’ which told us the job was done. Aside from a run in with a crack-whore and a few other suspicious looking characters the people we were most thankful to meet were some lovely London cabbies who pointed us back in the direction of the Macbeth, ten minutes to nine!

Having thought we wouldn’t make it back alive we declared the mission a success and set about ordering some well-deserved drinks. So who do I bump into looking absolutely gorgeous? The wonderful Foxtrot India who performed at the Tiger Tiger night of the LBF who had come to watch the show. And first up was Lydia Darling performing a double act with I believe Amanda Mone – but don’t quote me on that! Two girls on a tiny stage wasn’t quite so easy but they pulled it off all the same and I gave a hand with the pick-up as there was a lot taken off between the two of them. When I’d heard earlier that the Ska bands would be playing 45 minute sets I wasn’t too convinced that the whole thing would work… 5 minutes of Burlesque followed by an hour or so of music until the next – but the first band – Number One Station, were brilliant, and people were up drinking and skanking away quite happily and wait for the next act of the night, Bella Besame. Bella was a performer that I was aware of but hadn’t had the pleasure of seeing perform, and by golly she is one sexy lady!

I’d been able to introduce myself in the break to Millie Dollar who is absolutely lovely, and she came to the front with Foxtrot India and I to get the best view (and of course to have room to dance once Bella’s act was finished!) it really was a wonderful atmosphere. I disappeared a couple of times as I just got chatting to so many different people about Burlesque and what it means to them. Was nice to hear some different perspectives from the eclectic crowd that had gathered there; all in one room you had the burlesque fans, the ska fans and everybody that had just come along for a good time. And what a good time it was. By the time Millie Dollar took to the stage the party was in full swing, and her powder puff routine was just gorgeous. Having seen her stuff online I was blown away at how good it was in the flesh (so to speak) and what a top-notch performer she is.
Thanks Millie for getting me to the tube station in my rather drunken state!

So all I can do is whole-heartedly recommend a great night with friendly people, fab performers and cool music.

AND what’s more, I will be performing at their other venue, The Amersham Arms in New Cross on June 6th, so come along and join in the fun!

More about the LBF later… but for now I want to share some pictures from my first performance at Madam JoJo’s as part of the Hee Haw! Whore House for Finger in the Pie Cabaret…

(c) Flavia Fraser-Cannon

Images 1 and 3 (c) Flavia Fraser-Cannon
Image 2 (c) Darrell Berry

For all those that missed it, we had a brilliant time. I spent the following two hours afterwards flitting between Madam JoJo’s and Soho Revue Bar to catch some of the LBF’s topless revue – though I have to say the crowd over there didn’t seem to be going for it like the Finger in the Pie crowd! Mariella Harlotta and Ruby Corsette were wonderful – though I’m sorry to say I was backstage for the first half so didn’t get to catch Aliens Ate my Schnitzel or any of the other lovely acts.

Will say one thing though – after working tirelessly backstage at the festival, it was so refreshing to just turn up as a performer, get ready and do my thing… something I hope to be doing a lot more of in future… so watch this space my darlings, Tiara Diamond has just begun!

LBF 2008 – Tiger Tiger

April 12, 2008

Ok, so it’s taken me this long to write up because it’s taken me this long to recover! The London Burlesque Festival is over for another year, leaving behind a trail of feathers and glitter in it’s wake… And what a festival it was this year! For those of you at Tiger, Tiger and Bush Hall, there’s a very good chance you would have seen me – as I was the lady dressed like this:

(c) Master David @londonfetishscene.com

(c) Master David@ London Fetish Scene

By the third night I gave up on the heels and changed into some flats! Still – I managed a different hairstyle for every night so I didn’t do too badly. First up – Tiger Tiger…

After rehearsals on Thursday I went into the dressing room, plugged in my tongs and attempted (somewhat successfully) to barrel curl all of my hair onto the top of my head and smoothed my make-up on so I’d be as ready as possible when I arrived at the venue. When I got there I stood about a bit, not knowing what to do with myself and feeling like a bit of a lemon. But then I met the lovely Earl Okin who had just finished a sound-check and made me feel right at home. When Agent Lynch came in a second or two later I knew I’d be fine. We’d met before after a performance of hers at Volupte but I didn’t want to come in with ‘Hello! Remember me?’ as I was sure she wouldn’t, so I kept my mouth shut. In the toilets putting my false eyelashes on I bumped into her again – ‘So what act are you doing tonight?’ ‘Barbarella…’ ‘Oh great! I haven’t seen that one yet!’ ‘Didn’t I meet you before…?’ last time we met I was saying how much I wanted to see her Barbarella routine, and turns out she did remember me! Next up I was introduced to Alaska Blue who was doing the pick-up with me, who had on a fabulous flamingo hat, and turned out to be equally as lovely. Sean from ‘Beyond the Cabaret’ filled me in on my duties for the night and we began sorting out the reserved tables for the guests. There was a slight hiccup at the sponsors table (not enough seats!) but with some re-jigging we were able to get everyone sorted out in time for the show. And by golly we were packed!

It was a great line-up; Agent Lynch, Dangerous Dolly, Stella Plumes, Roxy Velvet, Chrys Columbine, Foxtrot India and the amazing Vicky Butterfly (now there’s a performer worth seeing!) and more! I must admit I was a little star-struck. Watching in the wings I got to see some first-rate burlesque dancers, and I was increasingly pleased with myself for having offered to help out. Aside from a few disgruntled patrons that weren’t able to see the show properly (bearing in mind the place was packed!) we had an incredibly successful night – with all items removed being returned to their rightful owners ūüôā

The midnight show meant I got to see Vicky Butterfly’s Peacock Act plus a whole lot more wonderful performances, and for ¬£5 entry, the audience most certainly got themselves a bargain! With the club not a particularly renowned venue for burlesque we got the occasional few asking what on earth was going on downstairs as they got a glimpse of some sparkle and skin; but more than a couple of them went off to buy their tickets to get a better look… it would seem that with burlesque taking over London on the 3rd of April, there was no escaping it for the general public. So why not give in and be fabulous for an evening? You’ll have a whole lot of fun!

Just a few photos…

March 3, 2008

That I had taken the other night. Ooh I’m such a show-off!

 look.jpg

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Where do I begin?

March 3, 2008

Saturday morning I packed up a little green suitcase with a contents that made it the most fun thing I have ever had the experience of packing. It contained:

  • A white shirt
  • A red polka dot skirt
  • Red peep-toe heels
  • A red and white dotty head-scarf
  • A faux fur stole
  • A red paper parasol
  • Long black gloves
  • A bustle
  • A bra
  • Suspenders
  • Stockings
  • A red feathered corset
  • A red lipstick
  • Black eye-liner
  • Nipple tassels

Yes ladies and gents, I was packing for a weekend of fun at the BWI‘s (Burlesque Women’s Institute, for those of you not in the know) Ultimate Burlesque Workshop in London; hosted by the fabulous Ruby Rose and the infectiously energetic Venuss Envy. And I cannot begin to describe the amazing time I had there. Though having said that… let me give it a go!

I joined the BWI’s fab forum¬†last Summer (a very lovely place to hang out, talk about hair, make-up, burly-q and more) and having heard how much fun the workshops had been, I put my name down for their first London workshop of 2008. And boy am I glad that I did! It was like coming home to be honest, a course that seemed to cover all of my favourite things!

On day one we looked at different styles of dance with Venuss Envy; having worked as a professional dancer she led us through a thorough warm-up (we ended up using muscles we never knew we had!), and we got to grips with the can-can. I don’t think I will ever forget the fun we had running round with our skirts hitched, screaming our heads off! We weren’t perhaps the greatest can-can dancers the world had ever seen, but by golly we were enthusiastic!

The afternoon saw us looking at characterisation, which luckily involved us all looking at clips from seemingly every single one of my favourite films! Can you imagine another course where you get to watch Marilyn Monroe in Some Like it Hot for inspiration? I loved it!

On day two we started with hair and make-up (evil rail replacement buses made me an hour late!) – so I missed victory rolls and barrel curls and arrived just in time for head-scarves and quiffs. I feel like, combined with the make-up element, I learned so much about where I can take my own style and develop it further – make everything bigger! Was really inspiring, and I’m sure a lot of the girls came away with new¬†ideas and tricks up their sleeves, just as I did. And absloute darling that Miss Ruby Rose is, she went through with me what I’d missed, later in the day, how’s that for dedication?!

To think that one day you can meet a room full of strangers, all dressed, all a little nervous, maybe even shy… then to reach that point on a Sunday afternoon where you’ll quite happily stand there half naked, tasseling away to each other with no-one so much as batting an eyelid, you can see the journey you’ve gone through, and where it’s taken you.

tassles.jpg
My home-made tassels and pasties!

I think¬†I’ve given you some¬†insight into¬†the wickedly wonderful things that¬†we were getting up to… but as one girl said to me;

“What happens in class, stays in class!”

So if you want to see for yourself just what you’re missing, then do try and get along because you will have so much fun. Venuss and Ruby are so accomodating, and I could not have asked for better teachers. (Hence me putting my name down for the intermediate course before details are even published!) I met some really lovely people this weekend, and had such an amazing time. It has to be burlesque for me. Because I know now, there is nothing else that I could love this much!