As we write the sun is breaking through the cloud so it seems a very apt moment to introduce you to this up and coming ray of light on the burlesque scene.  Celeste Étoile’s application video brought a smile to our face.  The cheeky winks and wistful wiggles got us moving and grooving to her routine.  We knew she would get our wonderful and glittery audience doing the same.  Which is why we booked her for our upcoming show on Friday 7th June at The Albany Great Portland St (you can book your tickets to the most welcoming cabaret in London here.).  

Celeste Was born on the W7 bus on my way home!
Photo Credit © Tigz Rice 2018. http://www.tigzrice.com

Celeste Étoile’s fall to earth with a bump and a grind in 2018 has set the stage for a glittering career in burlesque.  We wanted to get to know a little bit more about the sparkly Celeste, and find out the important things like what she does on her day off.  Read on and learn what she loves about the cabaret community …

When you have a day off, what do you do for fun?

I love going for walks around London! There’s so much to see of this fascinating city by foot, and recently I’ve been using a “hidden walks” guide, that gives you loads of fun facts about different areas and hidden locations, most of them right in the heart of Zone 1! If the weather is bad I love curling up with a good book.

How did you choose your stage name?

For the longest time, I thought I was going to be called “Hazel Halliday” – I thought she sounded like a glamorous 1940s Hollywood Movie star. As I began to learn who I was as a burlesque artist, that definitely wasn’t who I was! I wanted something playful, as my character seemed to be this fairly innocent ingenue on the surface, but could be cheeky and a little outrageous. That started me thinking about the angel/devil dynamic, and then I just started google translating a lot of heaven based words into French (as I was very inspired by Baz Luhrman’s Moulin Rouge in the beginning). I googled so many different combinations, and then like that, Celeste was born on the W7 bus on my way home!

 

What’s the craziest moment you’ve experienced as a performer?

I am still a fairly new performer, but I think one of the craziest unbelievable things was being a 2019 finalist in the Legend in the Making competition at Hebden Bridge Burlesque Festival. From what I understand, it is an extremely popular competition to apply for and the standard is really high, so to be asked to perform at the festival was a pinch me moment. Lady Wildflower and Heidi Bang Tidy are run an amazingly tight ship, and it was one of warmest and supportive shows I’ve been part of.

What do you love most about the cabaret community?

The warmth and support I feel from other performers when I go to shows. One of my favourite things about going to shows is seeing what other people are creating, there are always such creative and beautiful acts that I could never dream of devising, so it is really amazing to appreciate someone’s craft. It’s also really inspiring too!
If you too would like come and be inspired by the cabaret community join us on Friday 7th June at The Albany Great Portland St.  They’ll be plenty of fun for everyone as we kickstart your weekend!

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!  

https://partners.designmynight.com/pw?v=3&r=6879569
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Saved the best for last? You be the judge. Our final performer interview before tomorrow’s Luscious Cabaret features none other than Boylesque superstar and former Luscious Burlesque alum, Dickie Dalliance! See how far that eight-week course can take you…?

 

What is your first memory of performing?

Well, my debut was at my Luscious Graduation Show. It was wonderful to perform (solo for the first time ever) in front of so many friends!

 

Tell us about the best and worst parts of being on stage.

It’s a great feeling to be cheered for taking your clothes off, something I never thought I’d hear! The worst part is never being fully satisfied with my performance, but maybe one day…

 

Do you have any traditions or rituals on the day of a show?

Not really. But the guys at work always know I have a show from what I’m wearing to the office that day, I enjoy that.

 

How do you develop a new routine? Tell us a bit about the creative process.

I find it really hard. Inspiration usually comes from a piece of music I’m listening to, but even then it takes me months to work out what I’m going to do!

 

Whats’s your favourite way to relax after a show?

Before the show I’m too nervous, so after the show I like to get to know the other performers better.

 

Do you have any secret talents?

I have no secrets 😉

 

Song you’re currently listening to on repeat?

My track for the show!

 

Give us a tease about your upcoming act at Luscious Cabaret!

The punters in the front row will get more than they bargained for!

 

If you want another dose of Dickie Dalliance, join us tomorrow night at Luscious Cabaret! Unreserved seating tickets are still available here

 

Ever wanted to time-travel? Well, all you have to do is get yourself to Luscious Cabaret this Friday, where we will all be whisked away to a bygone era by the absolutely enchanting Miss Odelia Opium. Get ready for a history lesson like no other…

 

What is your first memory of performing?

That would probably be me auditioning for the high school musical production! I didn’t get the part though and have never been on stage again afterwards until I started doing burlesque in 2010!

 

Tell us about the best and worst parts of being on stage.

The best part is certainly the amazing feeling you get from performing for a supportive crowd! You get to share your creativity with them and have a good time together. Worst part – undoubtedly the nerves! Worrying if you’re good enough, what if they don’t like me, all that stuff!

 

Do you have any traditions or rituals on the day of a show?

On a show day it’s all about the preparation rituals – have a shower and exfoliate, then do my hair and makeup and carefully pack my luggage. I love that I own a large collection of makeup to choose from on the day. Even though all my acts have signature looks I like to vary my makeup a little sometimes.

 

How do you develop a new routine? Tell us a bit about the creative process.

As a costume designer I’m all about the visuals. I usually have a costume concept first and the inspiration for me usually comes from the past – paintings, old buildings, popular culture of past centuries.

 

Whats’s your favourite way to relax after a show?

Nothing like coming home to a cold drink and vegetarian junk food! I don’t eat before a show, so I’m usually starving by the time I get home!

 

Do you have any secret talents?

Sewing is my super power! I also make the best Aperol Spritz. 🙂

 

Song you’re currently listening to on repeat?

That’s probably the song I use in my newest act! It’s a song by one of my favourite bands, the Cherry Poppin Daddies, which means a lot to me. Not saying which one though! You’ll have to wait and see for yourself!

 

Give us a tease about your upcoming act at Luscious Cabaret!

I’m bringing my latest act with me! Inspired by icons of the past such as Vesta Tilly and Marlene Dietrich, this act is 50% dandy, 80% razzledazzle and 100% sass!

 

You can catch Miss Odelia on June 2nd at Luscious Cabaret! Tickets are available here

Photo credits: Vintage Rebels

What better way to kick off the weekend than to have a chat with one of our all-time favourites and queen of tassel twirling – Trixi Tassels! It’s time to meet this flame-blazing performer who will have us all enthralled next Friday…

 

What is your first memory of performing?

When I played one of the Three Billy Goats Gruff on stage with an amateur kids theatre group – I must have been 6 or 7 or something.

Tell us about the best and worst parts of being on stage.

Best parts are when you get that magical connection with the audience and they’re completely in the palm of your hand.  You can be doing absolutely nothing on stage but they are totally enthralled.  The worst parts are when you’re not feeling the act, not in the moment for some reason, and then that translates to your energy and that prohibits you connecting with the audience.

Do you have any traditions or rituals on the day of a show?

I try to eat lightly and I don’t drink until after I’ve performed.  I go through my costuming spreadsheet to check I have every little item from the big costume items right down to the little things like spirit gum and jewellery.

How do you develop a new routine? Tell us a bit about the creative process.

I tend to connect with a song first.  I may have a broad concept, but it will only start to come together when I have found the perfect song which provides the inspiration for the feeling, the costume, and the pacing of the whole thing.  The song is absolutely integral. Once I get the song, I play it several dozen times over and map out the act and design the costume in my head before it starts to come to physical life.  Often I re-cut it to extend or shorten it or repeat particular parts that work really well.

Whats’s your favourite way to relax after a show?

With lots of wine or gin!  It’s nice to hang out backstage for a bit away from the crowds to chill out a bit before the hustle bustle of heading out to the public space.

Do you have any secret talents?

Apart from being one of the world’s best tassel twirlers, I make a mean risotto.

Song you’re currently listening to on repeat?

Dead Radio by Rowland S. Howard.  It’s got the best opening line to an album ever

Give us a tease about your upcoming act at Luscious Cabaret!

It’s raunchy, it’s hot, it’ll make you sweat!

 

We’re definitely excited to see what this lady has up her sleeve!  Luscious Cabaret is on next Friday at the Albany, with tickets available here

 

Photo credits: Matchless Snapshots

Our June edition of Luscious Cabaret is almost upon us, and we’re ready to meet our wonderful performers! Let’s get the ball (or skates) rolling with Luscious fan-favourite, the gorgeous and uber-talented Symoné! 

 

What is your first memory of performing?

Apart from school performances, my first ever show performing was 6 years ago at The King’s Cross Torch Relay for the Olympics! I think I completely blanked out, but I remember feeling shy and nervous with all the cameras – I was not used to so much attention, it felt overwhelming. At this time, I was performing in a large troupe, so the energy of everyone was comforting. Completely jumped into the deep end, and I’m quite grateful for that!

 

Tell us about the best and worst parts of being on stage.

When something spontaneous happens that you weren’t expecting yourself it can be magical – that’s often based on the crowd and the state of mind I’m in that night. I wouldn’t call it, “the worst bit,” but I don’t particularly like attention in general and that’s mainly because I’m quite introverted! 

 

Do you have any traditions or rituals on the day of a show?

The process of packing for a show contains suitable music to either calm or excite myself before a show. Also, a good mind and body cleanse, so facials, stretching, and meditating!

 

How do you develop a new routine? Tell us a bit about the creative process.

This often changes, however it’s either inspiration from a song I hear or I instantly imagine the routine in my head.

 

Whats’s your favourite way to relax after a show?

Good food and a film!

 

Do you have any secret talents?

I might be training myself in pole – might!

 

Song you’re currently listening to on repeat?

My Bad – DJ Mike Q

 

Give us a tease about your upcoming act at Luscious Cabaret!

If you like twerking and skating you are in for a treat 🙂

 

We know we’ve got you interested now! You can catch Symoné next Friday at the Albany, with tickets available here

It’s only been a week since our last Luscious Cabaret, but we’re so excited about June’s lineup that we just had to share it with 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 gasp in wonder and amazement, the supremely skilled Symone!

Photo credits: Peggy Pollock Photography

Luscious alum and boylesque superstar, the incomparable Dickie Dalliance!

Demonstrating the perils and pitfalls of immigration, the hilarious Veronica!

Photo credits: Veronica’s friend!

Helping us time-travel to bygone eras, queen of vintage classic Odelia Opium!

Photo credits: Vintage Rebels

Flying in with gin in hand, the esteemed Lady Lylith DeHaviland!

Photo credits: Tigz Rice Studios

Astounding us all with her exquisite tasseling skills, the gorgeous Trixi Tassels!

Photo credits: Matchless Snapshots

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

Photo credits: Stephan Burn Photography

Luscious Cabaret returns on Friday, June 2nd at the Albany – you can book your tickets here.

IT’S SHOW DAY! Get yourself down to The Albany tonight if you want to see any or indeed all of the performers we’ve met this week in the blog.
 
Today the multi-talented and beautiful Leonie Soprano is answering the questions you’ve all been clamouring to ask her – I’m sure.
 
Why did you start performing? 
I did my degree in Musical Theatre and so had a lot of experience singing and dancing on the stage. The first ever burlesque show I saw was The Kitten Club at Volupte back in 2010 and I immediately knew then that was what I wanted to go and do. The comedy and cleverly choreographed satirical routines performed by a group of women who were a range of shapes and sizes, celebrating their curves and femininity was just amazing to me.
 
 Do you remember your first time on stage? How did that go?
My first performance was at the end of the Burlesque Performance Course taught by Tempest Rose at Madame Jo Jo’s. Tempest Rose. This was a troupe dance which was Christmas themed and involved a comedy reverse striptease act where I was dressed as a Christmas tree! It was both hilarious and exhilarating and I loved it!
 
Of all of your acts, which is your favourite to perform?
My favourite act to perform is called Please Don’t Touch me where I sing a duet with Charlie my puppet, and lecture him about how audience members should behave towards burlesque performers. 
 
What is your biggest asset and your biggest flaw as a performer?
Well my biggest assets are these…..*gestures own chest* and my biggest flaw is that it takes me an age to get ready for an act and so I am really terrible at quick changes and have on several occasions have ended up with an army of performers helping to dress me.
 
What do you think is people’s first impression of you?
I have an office job in my ‘other life’ so I think I look like a non extraordinary person and definitely one of the ‘norms’. I am quite a down to earth and social person and most of all backstage I pride myself on just being friendly and good mannered.
 
What’s your favourite thing about cabaret? 
My favourite thing about cabaret is the opportunity to create my own performance, showcasing my best talents and saying whatever I want to say! For so many years I was forever auditioning for parts where I had to fit a particular role or the producers vision, and stand on a stage singing someone else’s words and dancing someone else’s steps. Cabaret is the antithesis of this and allows the performer to create their own act and so market their own ‘product’.
 
We’ve all had those days when we feel like doing nothing. What motivates you to be productive on a daily basis? 
Yeah, about that erm………. seriously though I do think there are days when it is important to relax and take time to have those days when you can afford to relax and unwind. I would say that I am at my best when under a bit of pressure and when there is a deadline that has to be hit. My motto would always be ‘the show must go on’.
 
 What’s your next challenge in life or in performing?
I performing I’d like to focus on creating some new acts that are innovative and exciting. My next life goal is to save up for a house and also a few fancy and expensive holidays in the Caribbean.
 
Leonie Soprano is performing tonight not once but twice on the luscious stage!

 
Only two days to go until we had back to our Great Portland Street home, The Albany.  Today we meet one half of the our duet for the evening, Valerie Savage!
 
Why did you start performing?
It would be absolutely criminal not to be releasing these dumb faces to the general public.
 
Do you remember your first time on stage? How did that go?
I remember my first time NOT on stage, at my first dancing concert when I was five I insisted I was too sick to perform but then was miraculously better once I was sitting in the audience. Shocking, I know.
 
Of all of your acts, which is your favourite to perform?
I love Show Off so much, it’s such an obscenely self-indulgent character and it’s getting more ridiculous every time I perform.
 
What is your biggest asset and your biggest flaw as a performer?
My biggest asset is my FACE and my biggest flaw is also my face. I really enjoy looking horrible onstage and making people laugh but it’s real hard to get nice photos of you performing, which is why the new act I’m doing for the show is Not Funny and it is Art.
 
What do you think is people’s first impression of you?
Someone described me as “a walking Dr Seuss character” at Hebden Bridge Burlesque Festival last weekend and I am quite attached to that now. It is probably more accurately “who is that person shovelling popcorn into her mouth like she is both someone feeding a horse and the horse being fed”, which also happened over the weekend.
 
What’s your favourite thing about cabaret?
That there are no restrictions to what you can do! As someone who was always getting told off for messing around in ballet class, I love that nobody yells at you for messing around in cabaret because it’s your job.
 
We’ve all had those days when we feel like doing nothing. What motivates you to be productive on a daily basis?
Cups of tea. I have a kettle in my bedroom so I don’t even have to leave the room if I am having a bad day and it is LIFE CHANGING.
 
 
What’s your next challenge in life or in performing?
I’m putting together a one-woman show which is very exciting but definitely the biggest challenge of both my life and my performing career!
 
You love her now, don’t you? Come and see her join forces with the incredible Dolly Trolley who we’ll be meeting tomorrow!