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!

 

Meet Black Country cabaret singer, Beverley Vegas! She is world famous in Dudley. She’s lived a life of ups and downs and is still unsure if she is the ‘winner taking it all’ or the ‘loser standing tall’. You’ll laugh, she’ll cry, we’ll all have a lovely time.  We managed to track her down to answer a few questions ahead of Luscious Cabaret.

 

Why did you start performing?

A deep seated need to be adored. That and, if I was in the school play, I could negotiate not being involved in the sports day. Putting on silly voices and titting around was a much more attractive option than wearing giant, navy blue knickers and coming last in the 200 meters.

 

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

I was 6. The school play was Sleeping Beauty and I’d been cast as the wicked witch. In truth, I was gutted – I wanted to be sleeping beauty and the girl that got the part, in my opinion, looked like a Moomin. I suppose that was my first lesson in type casting and rejection. Still, I was the wicked witch and I relished it. I put on my best, evil voice at the christening when casting the curse then, when the “teenage” (6 year old) “Beauty” (Moomin) walked in to my “tower” (bit of the stage that you needed a single step to get on to), I went all “Come in, my dear” in my most saccharine voice. She didn’t stand a chance. She was Sleeping Moomin, I mean Beauty, in seconds and I was lauded as the best 6 year old actress every to walk the boards of Hasbury Primary School. I loved the adoration. And I loved the fact that I replaced Sleeping Beauty after the second performance in the job of ‘holding the collection plate’ so we could get more money. And so began my career of playing the quirky, non-lead roles.

Legal Waiver: All of the above is my imperfect memory, mixed in with my Mom’s bias. It may or may not have happened quite like that. Also, the girl probably did not look like a Moomin. I hope she’s well.  

 

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

I love them all for different reasons. Mercedes Benson is great for audience banter. Beverley Vegas, who I’m doing at Luscious Cabaret, is just so beautifully naive that you forgive the fact that she’s delusional in her talents and relationships. All of my characters are a bit on the odd side with a healthy amount of darkness in them.

 

What is your biggest asset and your biggest flaw as a performer?

Biggest asset is probably my playful nature and my ability to react in the moment to what an audience gives me – a skill I’ve developed through stand up comedy. These qualities have led to some hilarious moments that wouldn’t have happened if I had just ‘stuck to the script’. My biggest flaw is that I can let my ‘internal editor’ get the better of me. I just need to get on stage and try things out – and not worry if it’s too dark or weird.

 

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

If the first time they meet me is on stage, they probably think, “she’s super confident, with a slightly weird and darkly comic brain”. They probably wouldn’t date me.

If the first time they meet me is off stage, they probably think, “she’s friendly, quite witty, but she pushed that joke a bit too far”. They probably wouldn’t date me.

 

What’s your favourite thing about cabaret?

I love the fact that anything goes. The line up could include, singing, dancing, burlesque, comedy, mime, magic, spoken word; you never know what you’re going to get. I love the fact that boundaries blur across genres and there are no rules to what you can or should do. Also, that it’s a great medium for social comment.

 

We’ve all had those days when we feel like doing nothing. What motivates you to be productive on a daily basis?

The next show – if you know you’re going to be standing up in front of people and entertaining them, they deserve the courtesy of you making it good. And you owe yourself the same courtesy.

 

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

I’m working on a full show for Beverley Vegas called, “An Evening with Beverley Vegas: From Boozer to Cruiser”. It’s the story of her life from the working men’s clubs of Dudley to the high seas of low budget cruise ships, told through anecdotes and songs.
Another exciting challenge, later on on the year, is hosting the entertainment on the evening of Little Lady Luscious’ wedding! I’m calling that show, “Try not to say f**k and bugger and offend her relatives”

 

You’ll be please to know “Try not to say f**k and bugger and offend her relatives” was a success!  I think mainly because Harvey H Hendricks was there to reel her in.  Beverly Vegas will be getting the party started this Friday at The Albany, Great Portland Street.  Click the button to buy your tickets.
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Throw Back Thursday!  What better way to keep you warm on this Thursday than reading our Luscious Blog with Gigi Moonshine!  This is from our May show so we can’t wait to see how she is getting on and the new act she is bringing to Luscious Cabaret.
 
Why did you start performing? 
In the past I have done some theatre, sung in an awesome band called Yes, I’m Pregnant, and a highlight for me was performing in the Rocky Horror Picture Show for a year, especially taking on the role of Frank N Furter. Needless to say I don’t dislike being on stage. Last year I went to see my amazing friend Kiki Mellék’s burlesque graduation show. I realised how fun burlesque can be, and how much I wanted to try it out myself. (Best decision I have made all year!)
 
Do you remember your first time on stage? How did that go?
Apart from ballets that I was too young to properly remember, I’d have to say my end of year play in high school. The stage fright was like nothing I’d ever felt in my life, but the performance and curtain call were the most thrilling.
 
Of all of your acts, which is your favourite to perform? 
As I just graduated from the Luscious Classes, I only have one act now. And like all firsts, it will always hold a very special place in my heart!
 
What is your biggest asset and your biggest flaw as a performer?
To be honest I’ve always been a bit of a show off! It finally proves to be an asset as a burlesque stage is the absolute best place to indulge! My biggest flaw might be a bit of eagerness, and too many ideas of music/costumes/acts/styles to fit in good time and in a single act! 
 
What do you think is people’s first impression of you?
I think people find me quite easy going in real life; sometimes shy maybe. The opposite on stage ha! 
 
What’s your favourite thing about cabaret?
The extravagant fun, the openness, the sexy, the goofy, the dark, the sparkly; and mostly being able to be oneself within a community of such talented and kind people. 
 
We’ve all had those days when we feel like doing nothing. What motivates you to be productive on a daily basis? 
Oh haha when those days come I give in! Maybe at the end of the day, shame will motivate me 🙂
 
What’s your next challenge in life or in performing?
I have really fallen for burlesque and all I want is to keep working to become a good proper burlesque performer!
 
Join us tomorrow night where we’ll be keeping warm and toasty with our Luscious favourites at The Albany Great Portland St from 8pm.  Door 7:30pm.

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In today’s blog we meet the intriguing Yippee Ikay who is bringing a little special something to our Luscious Cabaret on Friday. She’ll be shaking her Jolly Hockeysticks for us, and you can read a little bit more about her in preparation for the show. 
 
Why did you start performing?
I come from a baton twirling background, at competitions/training the average age is about 9 years old! being surrounded by ‘little girls’ made me feel really old. I wanted to keep dancing, so I decided to do some dance with ‘Bigger girls’
 
Do you remember your first time on stage? How did that go?
My first real burlesque show was a competition in Birmingham, I was so nervous. I had no support other than my husband as I wanted to see whether I could perform without my burlesque friends being present. I won!! I am so thankful for that show providing me with a chance to perform.
 
Of all of your acts, which is your favourite to perform?
Jolly Hockeysticks is great to perform as it has a strong, feisty character, however,  Get lost has recently had some amazing reactions from the audience as it suddenly dawns on them why I am dressed the way I am!
 
What is your biggest asset and your biggest flaw as a performer?
My twirling skills are a bit of a novelty for audiences. My biggest flaws, nerves and self doubt
 
What do you think is people’s first impression of you?
Quiet and helpful, the sewing kit I travel with has come in very handy!
 
What’s your favourite thing about cabaret?
I get to meet such a diverse group of talented people. In my regular day to day job I would never get the opportunity to meet these people! 
 
We’ve all had those days when we feel like doing nothing. What motivates you to be productive on a daily basis?
I have a number of craft jobs/ideas on the go at the same time. I find I switch from one to the next when I need a change. Hearing that other people are working hard motivates me ‘to get a wiggle on’
 
 What’s your next challenge in life or in performing?
There’s a new routine in the pipeline which I am really excited about creating. I’m learning to use a sewing machine!! I want to learn some new skills, using silk fans, different types of dance.
You can see the charming Yippee Ikay at Luscious Cabaret at The Albany on Friday 5th May.

As we’re just one short day away from the return of Luscious Cabaret, we couldn’t let you miss meeting this charming lady! Bonnie Knockers will be bringing her humour and glamour to the Albany’s stage tomorrow night, where she will be starring in her very own period drama! So without further ado…

 

1. Tell us a bit about why you decided to start performing.

I always loved acting at school/uni but felt my heart lay more in the arts education/charity world than full-time performing. I got hooked on burlesque about 5/6 years ago, but didn’t take the plunge to perform until last year, when I met the wonderful Ooh La Lou through a friend of a friend, who kindly introduced me to Miss Tempest Rose herself. I word-vomited at her for half an hour until she suggested I take her performance course at House of Burlesque, and I thought “sod it, the world’s gone mad so it’s now or never”. In short: you can all blame Brexit for my burlesque career.

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

Well my first time onstage EVER was in my mum’s uterus, a complex role of foetus-belonging-to-pregnant-chorus-member. Sadly I don’t remember it but I guess I had to get the bug from somewhere…

3. Any memorable audience members that you’ve encountered throughout your career?

My friends are pretty memorable audience members: I feel really proud that performers have approached me just to say how fantastic they are as a crowd. When I won my Burlesque Idol heat in January, my strongest memory is my best friend’s mum standing in the front row screaming “YES” repeatedly. It was glorious.

4. We’ve all had those days when we feel like doing nothing. What motivates you to be productive on a daily basis?

Now, I’m that lucky sod who everyone hates because I have my dream day-job. So that’s already a motivator, but even more so now I’m balancing that with a budding burlesque career: I love both and want to give both all the blood, sweat and ovaries I can, plus it’s nice to squeeze a social life in too…basically I’m an infuriating optimist and hate letting people down, so have resigned myself to not watching Empire or the entire Blue Planet series until retirement.

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

I don’t think onstage me and offstage me are that different: Knockers is just more exaggerated and better dressed. Onstage, the hope is “entertaining feminist hourglass”, the reality is probably “girl, learn to walk in heels”. In everyday life, the hope is kind, funny and strong, the reality is definitely “she talks too much”.

6. What is your biggest asset and your biggest flaw as a performer?

I’m going to avoid the obvious answer to my “biggest” asset(!) and instead say my brain is pretty handy: it throws up lots of ideas (of varying value!) and usually makes my face and body enact them in the right order. My biggest flaws are wardrobe malfunctions, balance issues, stomach-crushing nerves and losing the ability to be normal around people I idolise.

7. Tell us how you’d spend an ideal day off.

What is a day off?

8. Favourite drink?

I never say no to tequila…

 

Photo credit: Retro Photo Studio

Offering us much needed inspiration to get through the week, today we’re having a chat with the riotous Miss Oopsie Ooohh!  She’ll be joining us this Friday at Luscious Cabaret to show us that guess what, nobody is perfect – and that’s just the way it should be!

 

1. Tell us a bit about why you decided to start performing.

It’s a cliché, but I first stumbled onto stage hoping to highlight that I am sexy because of my “imperfections” not in spite of them. I wanted to focus on the beauty of imperfections not only in the aesthetic sense (cellulite, stretch marks, wobbly bits and all!) but also in terms of making mistakes. I intentionally do things onstage that are not conventionally appealing, I trip over, drop things and generally mess stuff up. We do not have to be constantly poised and perfect to be attractive. Silly can be sexy.  Ultimately I wanted to make people laugh while also making them feel good about themselves and their “imperfections.”

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

Yes, it was my burlesque graduation and I was opening the show. I was incredibly nervous. I had an extra oopsie moment or two, but they added to the act.

3. Any memorable audience members that you’ve encountered throughout your career?

There is not an individual member that springs to mind, but my favourite interactions with the audience has to be when they approach me post show and tell me that my performance made them want to embrace their own quirks

4. We’ve all had those days when we feel like doing nothing. What motivates you to be productive on a daily basis?

Since I’ve added hooping to my repertoire I need to rehearse much, much more often. It is essential I keep my fitness up and I am constantly pushing myself to learn new tricks. I turn my music up loud and have a happy hoopy play list that really motivates me to get out and practise!

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

Uh oh, she’s clumsy… (usually accompanied by a jump back!) 

6. What is your biggest asset and your biggest flaw as a performer?

In my acts I turn my flaws into positives, so I guess my biggest flaw and biggest asset are one and the same. I’ve taken my clumsy, awkward, accidental nature and turned it into Miss Oopsie Ooohh. 

7. Tell us how you’d spend an ideal day off.

I’d actually spend my perfect “day off” hula hooping. I love spending time in the sunshine, picnicking, chatting and hooping with friends. If I MUST take a day off hooping, then a sunny summers day in a beer garden with friends sounds just grand. 

8. Favourite drink?

Gin and slimline tonic. Yum.

 

Miss Oopsie Ooohh will be messing things up and tripping straight into our hearts at Luscious Cabaret this Friday at the Albany, from 8pm! xx

 

Photo credit: Dom Prior

We’re continuing our performer interview series for this week’s Luscious Cabaret with the absolutely delightful Rosie Kohl! You may know her from getting up to no good as part of Gimcrack Productions, but Rosie will also be taking to the stage solo to beguile us all with her signature bellydancing fusion moves…

 

1. Tell us a bit about why you decided to start performing.

To be honest, I don’t really remember ever not performing – even when I worked in theatre as a stage manager, director and writer I was still dancing and playing the violin in a band in my spare time. I’m a performer through and through – anyone who’s heard my shower repertoire will tell you that 😉 

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

Kind of? I was 6 and played the violin in a school recital. It went well I think, I remember my mum seeming impressed. Probably she was relieved that I was getting over the ‘yowling cat’ scratchy phase of musicianship.

3. Any memorable audience members that you’ve encountered throughout your career?

Hands down the couple in Edinburgh that came back to see our show multiple times and then asked for a CD of the music. They were a really odd pair and kept talking through the show but clearly enjoyed it!

4. We’ve all had those days when we feel like doing nothing. What motivates you to be productive on a daily basis?

Fear of mortality and our inevitable end. 

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

Onstage: she is very wiggly. In life: she is really goofy and clumsy.

6. What is your biggest asset and your biggest flaw as a performer?

I’d have to say my biggest asset would be my… eyes. I get a lot of comments about them and the fact that they are technically quite large means it’s easier to connect with an audience. Science, look it up. Biggest flaw – I’m super bad at self-promotion. It makes me cringe so hard.

7. Tell us how you’d spend an ideal day off.

On the beach with a good book and a cold cocktail. With a massage thrown in because my muscles are always sore from training and I never seem to have time to get it sorted out. 

8. Favourite drink?

Surprise me! Anything except beer. Be creative… 

Come see Rosie work her magic at Luscious Cabaret this Friday at the Albany! xx

To kick off our interview series for next week’s Luscious Cabaret, we’ve got a special weekend treat for you: first up is none other but the fabulous Paulus, whom you may have already caught performing solo or as part of Nasty Blouse at previous Luscious Cabarets. This time around we are excited to welcome Paulus as our guest host, for one night only! So without further ado…

 

1. Tell us a bit about why you decided to start performing.

Community service. Crimes against theatre. I’ve got 137 hours left.

 

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

I was seven and I had adapted a short book for the stage. I made my two best friends and one of their little brothers be in it and I directed and starred, obvs. Littlebourne Village Fete did not know what had hit them.

 

3. Any memorable audience members that you’ve encountered throughout your career?

No. Not a one. I barely know there’s anybody else in the building.

 

4. We’ve all had those days when we feel like doing nothing. What motivates you to be productive on a daily basis?

Cheese, mostly. That, and the knowledge that a sedentary lifestyle in this digital age will surely put you in an early grave quicker than a box-set marathon of How I Met Your Mother, and I don’t want that. Unless the coffin is made of cheese. In which case, I do. Mmmm – Camembert Coffin…

 

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

Who is that stunning creature and how can I be their BFF.

 

6. What is your biggest asset and your biggest flaw as a performer?

The answer is the same for both; I give too much. It oozes out of me. Or that might just be the smell of Brie…

 

7. Tell us how you’d spend an ideal day off.

Drinking tea and pruning the climbing roses in my garden, with occasional guest appearances from my cat, Harley (pictured)

8. Favourite drink?

PG Tips Tea until 5pm (semi skimmed, no sugar or even stirred with a spoon that has been anywhere near sugar and in a Denby mug. That last part is non-negotiable). After 5pm, I’ll drink Meths from a jam jar, babes.

 

You can catch Paulus (no guarantees on Harley) at Luscious Cabaret on April 7th at the Albany! xx

With just a week to go until Luscious Cabaret returns to the Albany on April 7th, we’ve got some important lineup changes to announce! The world of cabaret is a fickle one sometimes, and things can change just like that – so while we’re disappointed that a few of our previously announced performers will no longer be taking to the stage (but we do look forward to seeing them in future Luscious Cabarets!), we’ve got three brilliant new additions to Friday’s lineup! So everyone, get excited for…

 

Fabulously talented bellydancer and one half of the amazing Gimcrack Productions, Rosie Kohl!

 

Stand-up character comedy queen and mistress of quirky capitalisation, SuZanna GonZo!

International award winning showgirl and head of House of Burlesque, Miss Tempest Rose!

 

Looking forward to seeing you there! xx