Weekly Luscious Blog from Emily and Carla

We’re Getting excited for Luscious Cabaret – it’s less than one week to go! So with that in mind we learn a little bit more about this month’s luscious performers.

We’ve asked them where – or for whom – they would most like to perform one day? Here’s what they said…

The ultimate drag star – Dolly Trolley

“If we dare to dream, the pyramid stage at Glastonbury would be my pick…with 30 backing dancers in shopping trolleys. I’ve loved going to festivals since I was a teenager and enormous stages with tons of productions and sprawling crowds make me go weak at the knees. And if I could pick Lady Gaga and Tom Daley to be in the audience too, then they would be the juiciest cherries on top of the cake.”
The boss herself – Little Lady Luscious
I think the obvious answer is ballet dancing Darth Vader at the Royal Albert Hall.  The tiniest Darth Vader in that epic venue would be amazing!
 
Character Comedian – Gemma Layton
“I would most like to perform either with the League of Gentlemen or in front of Rick Astley (the latter purely as a way to dazzle him and seduce him).”
Burlesque Beauty – Ruby Panther
“I’d really like to go back to the strange little hotel I first saw a burlesque competition in, to bring things full circle and maybe even inspire someone else to get involved in this wonderful world.”
 
The gorgeous – Purrsia Kitt
Picture: Carl Manners
“I would love to perform somewhere on Broadway someday if the right opportunity came along.”
And our new Compere beyond Compare Paulus!
Picture: James Millar

“As many of you know, Bette Midler is my spirit animal, so I’d like to perform one day in a bath-house/sauna just like she did when she was first starting out. I would like said bath-house to be populated entirely by the cast of Orange Is The New Black wearing nothing but white fluffy towels. Tunnocks tea cakes will be served at half time.”

Join us at Luscious Cabaret at the Albany at Great Portland Street on Friday 7th September. Tickets are available here

Morning all, Stormina has been out and about again, enjoying yet more cabaret – no I don’t have a life outside the cabaret world. This month it was one that I felt should have been featured a long time ago. It’s Apothecary Cabaret at Haunt in stoke Newington.

Produced by Mariposa Bop, Apothecary is described as a journey into the drug-addled dreams of a 19th Century Apothecary as he “samples many a concoction, unction and tincture, in an attempt to cure his many ills.” With differing hosts and performers every month, it’s certain that no two Apothecaries are ever the same. I have to admit that this months show was a particularly good one with an especially ludicrous line up of lovelies. Held together by the delightfully sassy, Virgin Xtravaganzah, this line up provided darkness and light in perfect proportion.

I genuinely love Loretta Von Dini who performs burlesque while performing magic tricks flawlessly. I love it when magicians make mistakes and I can guess how the trick is done, super annoyingly I have never seen Loretta make any mistakes so I have no choice but to conclude that she is a witch.

Adding to the darkness was Rosie Kohl who performed a genuinely mesmerising, ‘unsettling’ belly dance and Fifi Fantome who took us from Louis Armstrong to Florence and the Machine and will haunt my nightmares forever. There was also Mr Grimez who performed spoken word with honesty and charisma that is rarely seen.

Bringing some light to proceedings were the hilariously whimsical Dotti Moscati and Ginger Tarte. As well as being my new best friend, Dotti’s body positive beach act had the entire audience in stitches. For our second seaside themed act, Ginger Tarte fell in love with a shark. I don’t even feel the need to say anymore on that.

Diva Regina brought some much needed dignity to the show, with her breath-taking vocals and political subject matter. Singing about Politics and International Relations in 5 languages. It’s about time someone brought some decorum to the cabaret genre and this lady is highly decorous.

Next month Apothecary will be hosted by the incomparable Driscoll Bleak who will be presenting another amazing line up; it is not to be missed.

 

Stage Management Note

Poppy Liqueur: One of the top 2 bottoms in Burlesque. Tidies up the stage like a pro.

 

Stormina’s Top 3

  1. Diva Regina’s Costume reveal

I don’t want to ruin the reveal but you all know how much I love a costume becoming another costume? I really really do!

  1. Dotti Miscotti wriggling her way out of an inflatable doughnut rubber ring.

So. Goddamn. Funny.

  1. Dance off in tribute to Chalkilicious (pictured)

As Chalkilicious (beloved Luscious fave and compulsive Apothecary game participant) is currently on his annual pilgrimage to The Edinburgh Fringe, the game this month was one of his favourites. Two poor audience members had to wiggle off to a 90’s mega mix wearing chalkilicious masks. It was one of the best things I’ve ever seen. If that makes no sense to you, you are better off for it.

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.

Part II of the Savage Trolley duo is Dolly Trolley.  We took the time to find out what keeps the Trolley rolling …

 

Why did you start performing?

I think I started performing drag and cabaret as way of expressing my pride in myself, and to encourage others to express every aspect of themselves outwardly, have no shame about themselves, and in fact, to rub who they are in other people’s faces; people love it!

I performed as a child and teenager, mostly dance and musical theatre, but I’ve realised that up until I came out as a gay man (when I was 20, now nearly 4 years ago) my performances and creativity were lacking and incomplete, because I was never able to release myself fully into performances. Instead I held myself back through fear of being clocked as a closeted homosexual (which at the time, I was petrified of) if I did “let go”.

I think back to little 18 year old me, scared of who they knew they were, and would like him to see me now and how magical it is to be able to be yourself in your entirety, with no shame,  with the utmost confidence in yourself and that people will applaud, cheer and scream for you because you showed them who you are in your performance.

That’s all maybe a bit serious. Let’s all now take a moment to remember that I’m a man in a glittery leotard, pretending to sing someone else’s songs and dancing to Shania Twain or the Macarena.

Do you remember your first time on stage? How did that go?

Dolly’s debut was at the end of March this year, at the graduation showcase of Michael Twaits’ drag course (which is 10/10, would recommend to a friend).

It was incredible! Certainly in my top 5 nights of my life EVER.

 I debuted with my 10 minute long Princess Leia act about her renouncement of men because Han Solo is a ******. It involves ballet, lipsync, Kylie Minogue, tap dancing, chairs, thigh high PVC stiletto boots, costume reveals, inflatable men and handstands. Working that act in my first few weeks in cabaret certainly kept me fit, and I had the honour of bringing it to Luscious Cabaret earlier this year.

Of all of your acts, which is your favourite to perform?

This changes all the time, but at the moment my favourite to perform is one of my newer ones  – “Bad Kitty”.

Its full of surprises, features music from Eartha Kitt and the Aristocats, as well as from grime artist Giggs (which the audience don’t expect). My favourite elemnt of it is the references to famous internet cats – and who hasn’t stayed up till 4am watching cat videos before?

(meow)

What sets you apart from other performers?

Probably the amount that I sweat. I’m known for being high energy (sometimes people say I’m “too much” … but I disagree) but I think I’m also known for my parodies of well known characters and the ways in which I choose to recreate them or re-tell their story from a more “honest” perspective.

What do you think is people’s first impression of you?

People’s impression of muggle me (Ed) is that I’m a “nice boy”. People’ mums LOVE me.

I’ll leave you to make your first impression of Dolly in October if you haven’t gotten one already, but my most common first review from people is “I’m exhausted just from watching.”

What’s your favourite thing about cabaret?

The community. This sounds cheesy but it really is. I’ve been performing cabaret for about 6 months now and have already formed an enormous networks of friends who are the most consistently loving, open, supportive and enthusiastic subset of society which I have had the pleasure of intersecting.

How did you choose your stage name?

MY day job/ muggle job is with an airline and so many people jump to ask: “ooh, are you a trolley dolly” … to which my response is, “sadly not. I work in their offices analysing data”.

So from constantly being asked if I was a trolley dolly, Dolly Trolley was born! And its a name which seems to suits the flavour of ridiculousness and frivolity that I have in my performances.

AND I have much in common with a shopping trolley: can often be found abandoned in car parks at 4am – most commonly upturned and with wheels aloft.

What’s your next challenge in life or in performing?

Life: manage to keep my bedroom tidy for longer than 4 days.

P.S. Please come be #TeamDolly if you like what you see at Luscious! X

 

Join #TeamDolly this Friday at Luscious Cabaret with another fantastic line up of burlesque and Cabaret!  

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