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

Performer and Compare extraordinaire Gemma Layton will be hosting the Luscious Burlesque Night on Thursday and bringing her own je ne sais quoi to proceedings.

We’re taking this excuse to read her hilarious interview from her performance at Luscious Cabaret a few months ago. 

 

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 can see Beverly at Luscious Cabaret on Friday.

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

Still trying to decide on summer plans? Not to worry, we’ve got the perfect solution for you. After a (very successful) first run last year, we’ve decided to bring back our Summer Workshops and give you the chance to develop your performance skills in directions that you may not even imagine. We’re lucky to have some absolutely stellar artists all lined up to teach you everything from bellydancing to fan dancing – it’s a wonderful opportunity to learn top secret trade tips from some of London’s finest established performers.

The workshops will run every Saturday from the 22nd of July to the 26th of August, and good news is that you can book them all right now! We’ve got special discounts as well if you choose to do more than a couple, so keep your eyes peeled for those.

Here’s the complete list of workshops, you can find more information about each one in particular here.

 

22nd July: Bellydance Bumps and Grinds with Rosie Kohl

29th July: Neo Burlesque & Political Burlesque with Lolo Brow

5th August: Floorwork & Audience Interaction with Bettsie Bon Bon

12th August: Fan Dancing with Tempest Rose

19th August: Clowning in Burlesque with Pi the Mime

26th August: Tassel Twirling with Trixi Tassels

 

We can’t wait to see you all in class this summer! 

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!