Okay so I’ve neglected you… know how I’m going to make it up? Why with a video of my brand spanking new act of course; as performed at the Glitter Room (Black Sheep Bar, Croydon) this very evening!

My new La Vie En Rose routine, costume by Emma Threadneedle.

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Rally the troops!

May 8, 2009

Please my darlings – do your bit in helping save Burlesque from the evil clutches of the Empire… well, Government. If you haven’t read about the ban in Camden Council then I refer you to my previous post (that bit before the pictures for those of you with bad memories!) There is currently an online petition which takes a few seconds to complete, in the hopes that this Burly-Q ban won’t spread like a plague of rabbits (very pleased with myself there for avoiding yet another joke about swine flu!).

For those of you in need of a bit more information, take a gander at this:

Under Section 25 of the proposed “Policing and Crime Bill 2008-2009” Burlesque will potentially be eradicated due to the requirement of a “Sexual Encounter Entertainment License” even though there is no nudity in burlesque (as described in section 25) it has been stated by certain boroughs already that the element of the removal of part of you clothing constitutes as stripping and therefore requires a license, although you are able to appear in front of an audience partially clothed you are not allowed to remove any item of clothing in front of an audience in order to achieve this state without the aforementioned license. We would like this loop hole in the act removed to ensure that performances that involve the removal of part of your clothing and do not result in nudity will not require licensing.” – Tricia Cox, Petition Creator

And for gawd sakes – SIGN NOW!

petition

Mud for Brunch

May 5, 2009

Let’s start at the very beginning… it’s a very good place to start!

Well my darlings, first and foremost let me offer my apologies for not getting back to you sooner! I have been a very busy bee as of late and alas, my blogging responsibilties have been put on hold for far too long.

So… what have you missed? Well, my first performance of the year took place on the 31st of March at Annie’s Bar in Kentish town (prior to the rather infuriating ban on Burlesque by Camden Council – an issue which I will be coming back to!). Here are some pictures courtesy of Diane Lowe at Neolestat which would have been illegal if taken only a month later!*

(c) Diane Lowe

(c) Diane Lowe

(c) Diane Lowe

(c) Diane Lowe

*NOTE THE AMAZING MAGIC FLOWERS – THEY OPEN… AS IF BY MAGIC!

I also got to perform my ‘Blooming Marvellous’ act at the Burlesque Brunch @ Last Days of Decadence, April 12th (this time with the mud I’d forgotten on the 31st!). It was a really lovely atmosphere and the fabulous Tricia Cox was there selling her beautiful hats and fascinators (I picked myself up a wonderful turquoise and silver hair slide that just happened to match my outfit perfectly!). It has to be said I was a tad nervous performing on the same bill as the splendiferous Vicky Butterfly, but luckily there was cake and tea enough between us that the gulf between my silly little gardening act and the beauty and grace of her Swan Bride seemed severely lessened!

Popping over the road with Rae Jenkin (who was there selling pasties to the Burly-curious), we wandered into ‘Time for Tea’, run by the delightfully mustachioed Johnny; a darling place for afternoon tea on the weekends. All in all a rather lovely day, finished off somewhat successfully by dinner with friends.

Next off my lovelies I shall recount to you my adventures at the London Burlesque Festival and cap it off with my latest news; but for now, this young lady is in need of her beauty sleep! x

Blooming Lovely!

March 22, 2009

Well I suppose it’s about blooming (now there’s a pun if ever I heard one!) time, that I started telling you all about my next gig. A week today (that’s Sunday the 29th of March) I will be performing on the bill of a new burlesque night run by the retro-fabulous DJ Suave! And not only will your £7 ticket gain you entry into the gorgeous Annie’s Bar in Kentish Town for a night of BurlyQ and cabaret;  you’ll also be among the first to see my brand-spanking-new Springtime act!

Think pink… think flowers… think gardening mishaps! My new act is a jolly homage to the wonders of gardening in the Spring, and what better way to celebrate the sunshine than by popping along to join us?

promo1

For your tickets and more details about the event please visit DJ Suave’s Myspace.

See you there? x

Did ya miss me…?

March 6, 2009

It’s been a very long Winter indeed, but in the words of the great Miss Dolly Parton I can see the light of a clear blue morning and my darlings it is ushering in a fabulous Springtime just brimming with BurlyQ! But before we get ahead of ourselves I think it best to have a quick blitz through some of the marvellous things I’ve been up to during my unforgivable absence.

  • Watching the marvellous Stella Plumes compere the ‘Wizard of Oz’ inspired evening at Festival Hall last year and meeting the adorable Amelie Soleil in the process. Did you make it along? Entry was free and the performers, sublime!
  • Travelling to Bath on a whirlwind adventure and being fortunate enough to catch the Billy Travilla exhibit at the Fashion Museum. For those of you who don’t know – he was the very clever man that dressed Marilyn in ‘Gentlemen Prefer Blondes’ amongst others, and created the iconic white halter-neck dress for ‘The Seven Year Itch’. The curator was an absolute sweetheart and gave us all the gossip about the man himself. Did you know the orange dress worn by Miss Monroe in ‘Gentlemen Prefer…’ was so heavily boned that it could stand up by itself?! And the craftsmanship fantastic. As for size 16….? Not a chance!
  • Attempting my first Lindy Hop class and doing none too badly… though I was told by two different partners that I was bouncing first too much and then not enough! What is the right level of bounce required in order to Lindy Hop? That aside it was good fun (though changing partners every two minutes made it tricky), and ultimately the friend I enlisted to come along with me came down with a case of two left feet and swiftly gave up.
  • New Year’s Eve I joined some very lovely people at Madam JoJo’s for the London Burlesque Social Club’s celebration, and got to see two wonderfully talented friends perform; Miss Dolly Blow-up and Miss Ruby Rose. Along with a plethora of equally-talented Burlesque beauties, including Slinky Sparkles and Kiki Kaboom (watch out for her at this year’s LBF, we think she’ll do well!).

*Note the black hair which mysteriously came and went*

*Note the black hair which mysteriously came and went*

Ruby and I

All in all my darlings it may have been a rollercoaster of a year but for every trough there’s been a peak, and those are the things to focus on. I believe Audrey Hepburn had a similar outlook on life; you go through your struggles and once you’re out the other side you get your reward… though pardon me for paraphrasing.

As for what’s next you’ll have to wait just a little longer to find out, though I promise not to leave it so long next time! Yes indeed it seems that Winter is finally creeping back to Narnia and all the beautiful flowers are starting to thaw out in the Springtime sun. Think I’ll go join them.

Tiara x

Well darlings, it seems that Burlesque isn’t as appreciated by some as we would all love it to be. What has been my life and passion, an art form that I write about with fondness and respect, has not been well received at all and has acted against me it would seem.

I have never disguised what it is that I write about and in fact have been proud that it has got me the recognition it has with other ‘bloggers’ and the Burlesque community. True, it has been a little while since my last post and so for this to get me writing again only goes to show what an effect it had on me.

A friend suggested I contact someone regarding a digital (non-Burlesque related) position. Through a social networking site I did so, and was asked to call him on Friday. Now as far as I’m concerned, people on this site know well what I write about, and some even comment here on this blog. When I write a new post I inform them about it and a lot of them take the time to check it out (lovely people that they are). Having called this ‘gentleman’ on Friday at the appointed time I was asked to wait as he would call me back. Which today, he did.

He asked me to tell him about my experiences regarding ‘social media’ (having not previously given me anymore information about the job vacancy or what it would entail) and so dear readers, I told him. I told him about the social networking tools I use, it’s place in business and society, and quite obviously – about my blog. I am proud of this blog, proud that I can give more people an insight into Burlesque; its history and it’s place in modern society. I hear a half laugh down the phone…. “it looks like some kind of stripper blog…” “Well” I reply, “in part I suppose it is…” at which point I begin to describe what Burlesque actually is, that it means to ‘pastiche’ something and so on… and this was my reply, under a derisory laugh;

“There’s no way I can hire you. No way.”

For a job in social media it seems that a background in Burlesque doesn’t help you. But Burlesque is what I’m known for in social media circles… and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I am not ashamed about what I do, and I don’t like being made to feel like I should be. 

After our conversation I headed to the original social networking site to post a ‘somewhat’ ambiguous statement to vent my frustration;

“I suggest people do their research next time. Yes darlings, I am the author of the BurlyQ Blog – and quite proud of it too!”

Only to see that the ‘gentleman’ involved had posted just before me:

“interviewed a social media person today that thought it was OK to have a personal stripper blog and that clients would not care. Hilarious”

As I have said before; if the word ‘Stripper’ was good enough for Gypsy Rose Lee then honey, I’ll take it.

Note: Read ‘gentleman’ in the knowledge that my great friend Bianca reminds me constantly that ladies should not swear.

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!



Okay, so you all know I wrote a stage adaptation of The G-String Murders by Gypsy Rose Lee… but have any of you seen the film? ‘Lady of Burlesque‘ sees our ecdysiastic heroine replaced with Barbara Stanwyck’s Dixie Daisy (I called my lead Dixie Lee!) who gets up to the same crime solving adventures as our own Gypsy does in the book. Although not the greatest film in the world; it’s a wonderful insight into the world of American Burlesque houses in the 1930’s/40’s for anyone without the time or patience to read the book. As with most risque films of the period (Tod Browning’s classic ‘Freaks‘ as a prime example) the censors went to town and deemed it too racy for contemporary audiences.

If you have read the book then you’ll realise just how tame it is – especially to modern eyes that have seen the likes of ‘Showgirls‘ and ‘Striptease‘! In the book there were inferences of lesbian police officers and the methods required to stop your breasts from dropping – none of that for Miss Stanwyck though! The end of the film, despite its age, still chills me to the bone just as the book does (the book more so… there’s talk of stuffing a body into a dressmakers dummy…) and I have to say it’s worth watching for any Burlesque aficionado.

When talking about BurlyQ films how could I not mention one of my all time favourites? Right up there with ‘Gentlemen Prefer Blondes‘ and ‘Gigi‘ for it’s feel-good factor and musical score; the wonderful life story of one of my favourite gals – ‘Gypsy!‘ (the Natalie Wood version of course…) Based on her memoirs it recounts the story of Rose Hovick, a very famous stage mother who pushed her girls into the limelight whatever the consequences. The result? Miss Gypsy Rose Lee, who as we all know boys and girls – became possibly the biggest name Burlesque had ever seen. Unless you’re a big fan of Bette Midler and prefer filmed versions of Musicals to actual films – I’d suggest not bothering with the remake – it really doesn’t stand up in comparison.

Of course one thing left out of the musical was the speculation that Rose Hovick was actually a lesbian that shot and killed her lover, amongst other things… but I guess that wouldn’t sell as well in 1962!

My advice? Get dressed up in your favourite frock – pour yourself a glass or two of something bubbly – and indulge in an evening of some vintage Burlesque. It. feels. fabulous!

Okay so I think I briefly mentioned the Cabaret and Burlesque meetup before, but I should probably fill you in on more of the details since I myself will be performing there!

The monthly meetups have been running for just over a year now out of Madam JoJos in Soho (where yours truly was lucky enough to perform…) and are basically a platform for like-minded people, promoters, performers and fans of Cabaret and Burlesque to catch up over a cocktail and meet and greet. The lovely Catherine Crawley (of the Rubadub Social Club) has been ever so clever in setting them about and putting together a great line up time and again. Unfortunately I missed the one year anniversary with the 1940’s military theme (victory rolls well and truly on the menu) but I will however be lucky enough to perform at their new venue over on Brick Lane… that’s Vibe Live at the Truman Brewery for anyone not paying attention last time!

It really is a night with such a lovely atmosphere – I’ve said it time and time again, but those BurlyQ folks are some of the friendliest and welcoming that I’ve had the pleasure to meet. I took my friend Jaz along for her first taste of Burlesque, and over the space of one evening and a crazily low entry price; she got to see the likes of Agent Lynch who popped over to say hello, Annette Betty, Femme Ferale and the return of drag legend Ruby Venezuela. Her favourite were Femme Ferale who did their 40’s military act… but I have to say I am biased and went for Agent Lynch’s Barbarella as mine!

So if you lovely people want to come along for an affordable night out in one of the trendiest parts of London (what else would you be doing on a Thursday evening…?) and see some top notch performers to boot, then I thoroughly suggest you try and make it down. If the promise of my new business cards wasn’t enough to tempt you then surely my heartfelt recommendation should do the trick.

And er… mine’s a glass of white thanks darlings…!

Full Shimmy Ahead!

June 18, 2008

Well my darlings, how’s tricks? I don’t know about you – but I have been busy busy busy! First up I’ve been getting together my Myspace so please come and add me as a friend as it is a very slow business! Still need to work on the aesthetics but it’s just somewhere to direct people to for now… And more pictures coming as and when I perform!

As for that, I will be performing my act ‘Billet doux’, which had it’s premier at The Amersham Arms; as part of the Cabaret and Burlesque Meet-up on July 3rd on Brick Lane. Of course, no Smooch Rocks this month so you’ll have to miss out on the PVC for a little while… Here’s a little teaser of what to expect on the 3rd though:

So what can we deduce from these pictures? Well there’s a glove and a man and a chair involved… but I won’t say in which order… Expect a couple of differences though… namely the man (I just get bored once the presents wear off!) and a couple of changes that come with time and practice. So if you want catch my act or catch up with me about some unpaid bills(!) then I will be performing and generally loitering around the Vibe Live at the Truman Brewery on BrickLane on Thursday the 3rd of July!

Right then – enough plugging out of the way… Although I must add I will be in possession of my fab new MOO business cards, with a different picture on each (I like to think of them as old-school cigarette cards… Adelaide Adams anyone?) and all with my contact deets for potential bookers and promoters. If that sounds like you then be sure to get there sharpish and choose your favourite!

In other news I have completed my degree in Acting for Stage and Media… entering the big scary world of actual proper jobs (which are harder to find than you might think!) so if you don’t hear from me for a while I’m probably out on the streets somewhere singing torch songs for cash… Ah the joys of being a penniless performer!