This month we’re taking a look back at a new monthly show that I think is genuinely very different and has the added bonus of showcasing new and upcoming talent.

House of Burlesque Fresh is the new HOB show in which graduates of the HOB school produce their own show either as individuals or as a group with support from Tempest Rose herself. There have now been 4 Fresh shows and I think that they have really been going from strength to strength.

So from the outset – I love this show, from the concept to the execution. The thing that all of these shows have in common is that each show is themed. It’s important to mention that so far, these shows have featured all female casts (although we will get onto Chain guy later). And that brings us on to last months show; Harry Potter and the Rhinestone Merkin.

Produced by (my personal girl crush), Bambi Bang Bang, it showcased some gorgeous new talent, had a nice diversity to it in terms of the differing acts and worked so well as a concept. Because Harry Potter exists in its own world – there were lots of nice bits and pieces that added to the show and they played so beautifully on that sense of nostalgia that an audience feels for the Harry Potter universe. As the audience came in, they could be sorted into their Hogwarts Houses by a roving sorting hat. There were other bits that worked so well with a burlesque twist including the Audience participation Tri-Wizard tournament and the use of Harry Potter Puppet Pals which if you’ve not heard of before, or had forgotten – I strongly urge you to rediscover on YouTube at your earliest convenience.

In terms of performance, it was a fully burlesque line up beyond the host’s opening number. In other shows that can feel a little bit samey – but I think that within the theme, there was so much scope for differing acts. There were relatively conceptually straight forward acts like portrayals of Ginny Weasley by the stunning Ginger Lust and Bellatrix Lestrange played with so much raw sexuality by Jessica Hussey. More left of field ideas like the totally compelling Miranda Lee’s Fat Lady of Gryffindor Tower act and the wonderfully adorable Dobby the House elf act by Pixie Rocket. Bonnie Knockers provided an amazing tribute to Molly Weasley with the normal sense of humour and wit that we have come to expect from her. The whole night was held together so tightly by Bambi’s irresistible charm and I also want to mention the gorgeous choreography of the opening and closing numbers by Gracie Disgrace.

The political was covered by one of the guest acts, Lily Snatchdragon who performed her Cho Chang act– she gets her own paragraph because this act was so affecting. Of course, it’s occurred to me before that Cho Chang is a really stupid and inaccurate name for a character, but I am ashamed to admit that it’s never occurred to me how much of a lazy trope that character is. This is burlesque as it should be: educational, thought provoking, strong and visually beautiful. I’ve been asked to mention how amazing chain guy –who held the chains that held Cho/Lily – was in this act. He managed to be on stage looking intense while not taking attention away from the performer, which was what he was meant to be doing. Smashed it.

Stage Manager Mention: We all know that Stormina loves good stage management; well done to Goddess, Persia Kitt who met Stormina’s stringent standards.            

 

Stormina’s top 3

3. Pixie Rocket – One of the strongest debut performances I’ve ever seen. I felt this act was cleverly designed to play to Pixie’s strengths and character. It was a joy to watch.

2. Not my daughter you bitch/Molly Wobbles Molly Wobbles Molly wobbles – Bonnie Knocker’s Molly Weasley act. The best thing about that act was how Bonnie explored the changing roles of the character (and of all women everywhere, no?) and by contrasting those roles in quick succession, using some genius lip sync, really highlighted the complexity of all Molly’s and women’s roles in general. (Am I reading too much into that?)

1. Of course, it would be totally ignorant of me to suggest that Lily’s was the only political act of this show. Every single act had a really strong female message – I mean could we expect anything else from a House of Burlesque production? If the act of burlesque itself (women in control of their sexuality and sharing that with an audience on their own terms) is political, then this show pushed that to it’s extreme. Just by default of the number of strong female characters with such confidence and strong ownership of their own sexualities. In particular, I think Ginger Lust and Jessica Hussey have got this covered in terms of owning their sexuality and making the audience understand the privilege of watching them perform.

Continuing our unsung heroes, meet our debonaire doorman the absolutely sensational Al J Jacob.  What does he get up when he’s not at Luscious Cabaret?  Read on to find out more …

What do you do outside of Luscious Cabaret?

Outside of LushCab I can be found screaming encouragement to some of our other Cabaret n Burley friends at various shows all over London, Ipswich, or the South Coast!

I get about a bit.

Or I’m helping friends put together acts n shows, helping promote their stuff, or getting people in touch with each other to do all of the above!

Anything that helps helps  .

What is an average day for Al J Jacob?

I NEVER have an average day. Ever! 

I work in a Female environment selling lingerie and sex toys…and that’s as “boring” as my day gets!!

On a normal day outside the muggle-job n CabaretWorld I’m in the gym or doing something I’ve never done before. When in Rome etc.

Do you remember the first Cabaret show that you went to see? 

My first show; unforgettable.

My Burlesque Cherry was well n truly popped by Raven Noir doing a ‘Red-Witch’ strip with Isis wings.

Then Doc LeRoc’s Wolverine, Roxi Kixx as Harley Quinn, Ruthy as the Joker, and Jeanie Wishes’ now famous Poison Ivy act all at ‘Cabaret Roulette: Super Heroes’.

It was Love at first sight.

What do you love most about Cabaret?

OhmiGod – that’s impossible to answer! 

The creativity. The underlying messages. The Windows into the Souls of the performer. The costumes. The family feeling. The elation of the crowd. The excitement building as we get to curtain-up. The Dressing-room banter!

We see you at almost every Cabaret show in London.  What are your top 5 cabaret shows to see in London?

Top 5: dang…

IN London…

LushCab (obvs).

The Cocoa Butter Club.

LADS!

The Curtain Club.

Savage n Sons.

…I’ll probably change my mind n have to extend it to a Top10.

What is your most memorable moment from a Luscious Cabaret show?

My Most memorable LushCab moment would HAVE to be when you said to our Michael Twaits “Just make it as camp as ya like!” at the end of the last show n boy oh boy did it get camp.

C’mon, people were table dancing!!!

We see you snapping and tagging various cabaret nights out on social media which is your favourite picture & why? 

pfffft I usually get a favourite pic each night!

I know how much time, money, n effort you all put into your performances so I just wanna help immortalise those moments with you, and if you like what you see then it’s a HUGE honour that you repost n use anything I’ve shared.

I will never ask a penny from any of my friends.

I just want to see every single last one of y’all succeed – again, absolutely anything to help.

However, I got an awesome shot of Kiki Lovechild being pounced on by Velociraptors

Can you describe Luscious Cabaret in three words?

Intimate.

Eccentric.

Camp! (Like that weird Uncle we all have!!)

 

Come and meet the devilishly handsome Al J Jacob at Luscious Cabaret.  You’ll find him on the door happy to help and show you the way to the Cabaret!

 
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We’ve been so excited over at Luscious HQ about our brand new cabaret night at Privée in Knightsbridge. It took weeks to handpick the most delectable melange of luscious lovelies. Luckily all of Little Lady Luscious’ hard work paid off and the end product was a really interesting mix of clown, circus, singing and burlesque.

Privée, Knightsbridge is specially designed for people to enjoy delicious food with amazing entertainment and seemed like the perfect spot for a little bit of Luscious magic.

As it was a first, It had to be special and so guests were serenaded on arrival by the stunning Vesper Fontaine accompanied by Aaron Clingham on keys. Considering they’d only met that day they provided a really stunning soundtrack to the night and set up a really enchanting atmosphere in the venue. Vesper was back later with her phenomenal fan dance and performance of Sinkin’ Soon. We were looked after lovingly by the delightful Mercury, who oversaw proceedings marvellously and steered us through the evening with a lot of charm and joy. Little Lady Luscious, our benevolent leader also treated us to two fabulous performances from Tiina, and spoiled us with performances from the incomparable Kiki Lovechild and from the Lady herself.

Obviously, while Little Lady L brought the fabulous entertainment. I didn’t have time to eat all night (obviously I was hard at work) but I am reliably informed that the food was really tasty as guests were served a 3 course meal before and during the show. I was particularly jealous of the aubergine main course and I’m told that the salmon was delicious. I did manage to steal some Baklava from someone and it was particularly tasty. (Please note that if you come to Luscious Privée in the future, the stage manager does not usually steal dessert from guests – I promise).

 

Stage Manager Mention: She was fabulous. That is all (It was me).

 

Stormina’s top 3 moments of the night:

3.Vesper and Aaron started the evening so beautifully with their selection of jazz hits. It set the whole evening off perfectly.

2.After a long period of focusing on her producing and teaching, it’s such a delight to see Little Lady Luscious performing again. Her reverse strip to Paulo Nutini’s Pencil Full of Lead is perfect evidence that Dynamite really does come in Small Packages.

1. Mercury’s cameo in Kiki Lovechild’s Butterfly act. That entire act was amazing and while the childlike delight in Kiki’s eyes was totally infectious; Mercury’s cameo as a floaty butterfly was almost too perfect.

Watch this space for more Privée news in the future!

Happy January! Here at Luscious HQ we’ve been chasing away those January Blues by going to some amazing shows and enjoying some top class Cabaret. This month we’re putting The Haus of Royalz show Did You See me Pam? In the spotlight.

If your Instagram is my Instagram, it’s all I’ve been seeing for the past few weeks so I knew I had to get my booty down to the RVT to see what all the fuss was about. If you’ve never heard of the Haus of Royalz, they are a collective of Drag acts who all graduated from (Luscious bestie) Michael Twaits’ Drag course together and started putting on shows together.

Did You See Me Pam? Was the theme of the show in which the cast performed the act they would want to perform to their biggest fan, Pam. It’s really hard to pick out the highlights of this show, because as the delightful host, Holly Dunn-Something pointed out – as a collective every performer brings something different to the table. In a minute I’ll have to pick my top 3 and I just have no idea where to start. This show managed to be political, edgy, fabulous, hilarious and fierce at once, drawing on the skills and passions of the different performers to create something thought provoking and energizing. Sort of everything you’d expect from a show of young queer performers – but somehow more?

Holly the aforementioned Host brought great charm and warmth to hosting. I think I’ve decided on my top 3 moments to put below, but it seems so unfair considering how wonderful the other acts were. So I also want to mention Dolly Trolley who was characteristically brilliant, what more can you say about Dolly? She was the cat that brought the cream although her feather spill gave the Stage Manager within me out in hot and cold sweats. Bae Sharam who brought a multi layered act about Islamophobia into the fold. I found this act incredibly thought provoking – largely about the role of cabaret in political discussion. Agent Chlamydia Jones was just hilariously funny and unfairly glam. Eva Wonder gave a biography of Marylyn Monroe with singing and a very impressive lip sync, and finally Fruit finished off in a performance which I have never seen anything like before. It involved fruit. I can’t describe it. I’m not sure who the dancers who flanked them were called – but I am basically in love with them and would like to know everything about them. This is a formal appeal for information. Please contact me.

Stormina’s Top 3 Moments of Did you see me Pam?

3. The Diva of Divas, Veronica Montenegro explaining her bid to integrate into British Society in order to get her Leave to Remain. Absolute Genius and highlighting something we are probably all thinking about right now; What it means to be British.

2. Everyone who knows me, knows that I am a sucker for a political cabaret; The absolute dream (and Luscious alumnus) Frankly Desire did a gorgeously inspiring burlesque act featuring that epic rant from Network – you know the one where the news caster says “I’m mad as Hell and I’m not going to take it anymore”. I love a good lip sync, I love an act that makes me feel optimistic at the end and I love fairy lights in a costume. Yes, Frankly!

1. My absolute highlight of the night was a reclaiming of The Rape Song (Blurred Lines) by The Pheonix (aka Rhyss Pieces). Rewritten to tell off a creep in a bar off – it was just perfect. Rapiness aside – that song has always been annoyingly catchy and the parodies have never quite been strong enough. This version is strong, it’s straight forward and it takes no nonsense. There was other music from Pheonix as well, with a piece so fresh that it came in with a teleprompter. Amazing and Stunning and I don’t really know what to add.

Before you go, I recommend you think about attending the next Haus of Royalz show on 4th April at the RVT – it’s their first birthday celebration entitled It’s My Party. Tickets are available on OutSavvy.com.

So this month we’re looking back at a Luscious family show starring my very own self; Stormina Teacup and other members of the Luscious family.
Our story begins one cold and nippy evening last winter when Little Lady Luscious had the idea for a collaborative show with Gentleman’s Relish (a boylesque four-piece of former Luscious students) and a group of her former female students. We put on our first, sold out show in July and then we were back on 1st december with a winter warmer of Christmas Cabaret.

The show itself was a ridiculous mixture of Christmassy acts, with burlesque from the delectable Bootsy Bonafonte who took us on a magically naughty sleigh ride; the charming Dickie Dalliance who took us down under for a saucy Santa strip and the remarkable Vince Moon who scandalised the whole audience with his deviant Santa act. The lucky audience were serenaded by adorably obscene Igor Maniac and the Tempestuous Stormina Teacup. They were treated to fire by the Blazing Sandy Fishnets and a sneak preview of the Queen’s speech with HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, the regal Chalkilicious. There were also collaborations from everybody’s favourite boyband who gave us their own form of festive sass and a delectably cheeky finale number starring the whole cast and choreographed by our very own superstar; Bootsy Bonafonte. Holding the whole show together was our stunning host: Onyx Fatale. Hilarious, gorgeous and always an absolute gift. She gave us exactly what we wanted for Christmas. (This all alludes to stuff she did on the night; namely bursting out of a giant box and dancing to Maria Carey).

Stage Manager mention:
I love a good stage manager and Gigi Moonshine was so good at her job that our photographer didn’t even manage to get a picture of her. Fabulous work!

Stormina’s Favourite bits:

3. The amazing barista in Bootsy Bonafonte’s Sleigh Ride act. Bootsy is always a stunner and that act is EVERYTHING – but the Barista. The Barista was fire. (Played by Stormina Teacup)
2. Sexy Santa in the finale number “Man with the Bag” – was undoubtedly the most convincing and definitely didn’t make any mistakes in the choreography. We’ll never know who played “sexy Santa” except that we do – it was me, lovers – Stormina Teacup!
1. Stormina Teacup’s amazing performance of Louis Armstrong’s ‘Zat you Santa Claus? With a voice like Caramel and a beautiful sheer couture gown, made by her very own fair hands; Stormina gave an amazing performance of an outrageously attractive woman who really wants to meet Santa Clause but is afraid that it may actually be a monster coming to get her. Her performance was an absolute tour de force. Amazing.

OK, OK, you may have noticed a discrepancy in our normal impartiality here. Little Lady Luscious has very stringent standards for her blog and takes bias very seriously. As a result I’ve asked our lovely and very Luscious photographer, Stephan Burn for his Top 3 moments of The Great Christmas Spread;

3. Now we’re off to a bad start with number 3 but I swear this is legit; Stephan’s third favourite moment of the show was Stormina Teacup’s “’Zat You Santa Claus?”
For context – Stephan is always at every Luscious event and has been witness to all of our graduations and early performances. Stephan said (I promise) that it was really good to see such a confident performance from someone who is normally more than a little bit timid (who me?). This is all Stephan’s own opinion and has nothing to do with the suitcase of cash I gave him before the show.
2. Everyone loves a transitional moment – Stephan’s second favourite moment of the night was one such. He’s chosen the glorious Vince Moon’s transition from Doris Day’s Here comes Santa Claus to something altogether more sinister and bestial. I don’t want to ruin the reveal too much – but let’s just say that Santa has a little more in his sack than you were possibly anticipating. For the record – Stormina was not involved in this performance at all. She wasn’t even one of the hot babes who came on with feather fans at the end. Hot babes were played by Bootsy Bonafonte and Sandy Fishnets.
1. Stephan’s favourite moment of the night was another transition. Gentleman’s Relish’s change from 4 Wise Men from the East to 4 men from East 17. Who doesn’t love a boyband act? And the boys gave an amazingly authentic performance of this classic thugs need love too track. I won’t tell you about what they did with their socks because I think you should go and see this act next Christmas and I don’t want to spoil it for you.

We’re so excited to launch our new blog spot! On the 3rd Friday of each month we will be publishing a review of a show we’ve seen recently that we have really loved. We thought we’d kick off with a review of this months Luscious Cabaret which was a real treat x

This months Cabaret was truly Luscious, with a terrific line up of amazing talent. Hosted by the fabulous, Michael Twaits, who announced one wonderful act after another.

The superb Gracie Disgrace opened the show with her brand new Michael Jackson act. The audience were also fortunate to have an appearance by the queen of Sing and Fling, Bambi Bang Bang. The incomparable Dolly Trolley performed her gorgeous Angela Twerkel act especially for us. Coco Nobel provided some old school glamour and Sisi Emerald brought the magic with her Harry Potter act. We’ll forgive her for being a Slytherin – although she told me after the show that she is actually a real life Hufflepuff. We also had the stunning Paulus who performed a number of his own original songs with live pianist. Gracie Disgrace closed the show with her signature work-out act – it was enough to make me feel like I needed a drink from all the effort she put in. Luckily, after a brief Disney sing along with Michael Twaits we made it to the bar for a glass of red.

Stormina Teacup’s top 3 moments of Luscious Cabaret November.

3. Michael Twaits singing his infamous West End Musical number, starting with Nicki Minaj’s Superbass – I don’t want to ruin the ending for you – but you need to hear this song!

2. Gracie Disgrace’s lap of honour around the audience to Chariots of Fire. Go on, girl!

1. Bambi Bang Bang’s gorgeous facial expressions during her hilarious act. She sings, she strips, she makes faces – is there anything this showgirl can’t do?

It’s that time again, folks, after a summer hiatus we are so excited that Luscious Cabaret is back with a Bang – or should we say a Bang Bang?! Today we’re chatting up with one of our favourite performers (and people), and we’re so excited to see her perform at Luscious again. It’s the queen of Sing and Fling – Bambi Bang Bang!!

Why did you start performing?

Performing was always like a drug to me, the nerves, the adrenaline. Burlesque is no different, that feeling of empowerment and owning the stage is addictive! That’s why I do what I do.
Do you remember your first time on stage?
Like my first, FIRST time? Oh yeah! I have a ridiculously vivid memory of being a tiny little ballerina girl, you know the one that doesn’t know the routine but all the parents still think is adorable?
Which is your favourite act to perform?
I love my “Bad Touch” routine and I’m so happy to be performing it at the Luscious cabaret. It’s such a fun act to do, I get to be silly and sexy on stage whilst also enforcing a little bit of a sing-along!
What sets you apart from other performers?
I’m in a lovely minority on Sing-and-fling performers who sprinkle some comedic sass on their routines. 
What do you think is people’s first impression of you?
“Wow, you’re tall.” That’s gotta be the obvious one! 
What’s your favourite thing about cabaret?
What’s not to love? It’s a much more inclusive community to any I have been involved with up to now. So much support and sisterhood!
How did you choose your stage name?
Isn’t it obvious? My long gazelle legs? My big doe eyes? My… yeah, that’s a lie. You remember that scene with Bambi on the ice trying to walk? That’s the epitome of how graceful I am. 
What’s your next challenge in performing?
I’m currently working on my next act, one that I’ve been passionate about creating for quite some time. I’ll be telling the true story of Medusa, which, despite it being a horrifically tragic tale, will hopefully be quite empowering for audiences. This is going to be really hard for me, as I’m known on stage for being a bit of a goofball and this act requires me to be a little more serious. Fingers Crossed!
You can catch Bambi at Luscious Cabaret on Friday at The Albany in Great Portland Street. You can find out who the rest of the lineup at is and book your place here.
We’ll see you there.

We are so excited about Luscious Cabaret returning with a bang in two weeks time. Of course, Luscious wouldn’t be Luscious without our fabulous host of proceedings, Michael Twaits. We had a read of the interview he did with us last year and thought you might enjoy reading it again.

 

What does a typical show day look like for you?

Usually it revolves around food- I don’t like eating just before I go on or eating when made up so have to plan meals! I always like to get to new venues early to check them out before showtime.

 

What is the best and worst thing about being in the spotlight?

It’s a real privilege to be allowed to wear sequins and act like a buffoon and have people consider it a good night out!

 

Do you have any special pre-show rituals?

A little drop of wine. A mirror with some lights and I’m all good to go. I can manage without a mirror if there’s enough wine.

 

Tell us about the main similarities and differences between “everyday” you and your on-stage persona.

I’m exactly the same. If it wasn’t for the sequins and the microphone I don’t think there’s any difference! I’m always a talkative idiot!

 

Craziest moment you’ve experienced as a performer?

 

 

Join us and Michael at the sparkly return of Luscious Cabaret by booking your tickets here.

We’ve had a lovely summer break, but we’re so glad that we’ll be back in October with a Luscious Lineup of Lovelies to entertain you. We’ve got a fantastic mix of Luscious favourites and brand new faces you’ve yet to meet, so we’ll get right down to it!

Making us laugh, cry and gasp in awe and amazement, the ever delightful Paulus.

Photo credit: James Millar

Show Girl Extraordinaire and Queen of the dance floor, Gracie Disgrace.

Photo credits: Photo Storm

The beautiful voice and face of Bambi Bang Bang.

Photo credits: Baden Clare

The Amazing and Fantastic Coco Nobel.

Photo credits: Veronica Verve

 

The truly Magical, Sissi Emerald.

Photo credits: Stephan Burn Photography

Fresh from Edinburgh, the incomparable Dolly Trolley.

Photo credits: Momographs.com

And naturally, no show would be complete without our very own Michael Twaits lighting up the night!

Photo credits: Stephan Burn

Luscious Cabaret returns on Friday, October 6th at the Albany – you can book your tickets here.