Sheffield‘s most popular burlesque event celebrated it’s 6th anniversary last night and I went along on behalf of the Journal. The event has been brought from the ground up to be a very popular night of cabaret, burlesque dancing, striptease and comedy. Compered by Warren Peace, Secrets of the Boudoir is the brainchild of burlesque performer Deadly Nightshade.
The doors open at 7pm and with any event like this, you have to wait around an hour for it to begin. This is so any late arrivals can get a drink and settle into their seats.
The night opened with the song ‘Wilkommen’ and a comedy routine from Warren Peace who conducts himself as though the stage was made for him. After a little crowd interaction he began to announce the performers. We started with a splendid dance from Raven Noir and her Medusa act. Her exquisite head piece featured writhing snakes. We then moved on to an amazing fan dance by Luna Diosa featuring Ostrich feathers (arguably a more recognisable burlesque accessory) and was a welcome part of the show as it illustrated to me that the original roots of burlesque are still well and truly alive.
The third act, titled ‘Windmills’, was by none other than Secrets of the Boudoir Burlesque founder Deadly Nightshade. If you’re interested in burlesque dancing in any way, such as watching performances, booking lessons or holding a Hen party, chances are Deadly Nightshade is in the background somewhere. She’s a tidal wave in the scene and is helping turn burlesque into being more roundly accepted by the general public. Her typically smooth performance led to an interesting routine from Baroness Guillam. It involved a slow strip tease and fluid dancing with lots of emotion and what appeared to be an overdose through injection!
All the way from Germany, Cleopatra Rose performed a lovely dance called ‘Invocation of Bast’ which incorporated some belly dancing with strip tease.
To start the second section, we got a cabaret song and dance from Warren Peace and Baroness Guillam which again thrust my imagination back to the days of cabaret. So precise were the dance moves, singing style and facial expressions.
Some fantastic light relief was brought to us by Pansy Cheung who performed a wonderful Charleston dance. The moves were spot on and I always think that if you can watch something or someone and then imagine you’re there in the scene that they’re creating, then they’re doing an amazing job.
A slow pole dance called ‘The Night Elf’ came from Sir Midnight Blues and he showed everyone how a type of dance that has such notoriety for being sleazy can in fact be something tremendous to watch. Pole dancing is also notoriously difficult to do and he made it look so easy.
Before the end of the first section (the night was split into four) I got to see a hilarious routine from Tahlullah Manhattan with her balloon popping. I managed to capture a burst of photographs as she pops the last balloon which I’ve posted below. Finally, we were all treated to Pam Galactic who gushed energy and fun throughout the performance.
The night then carried on with alternate performances from the previous dancers as well as some from other performers such as Whimsy Blue and Two Too Many. All performances were simply stunning to watch and a lot of fun and that’s what a lot of people don’t realise about these nights if they’ve never been to one. They hear the word burlesque bandied around and think it’s just stripping, but there’s much more to it than that and thanks to nights like this, more and more people are beginning to realise it.
Tickets are usually around £7 if you get them in advance and £9 on the door, so you it’s accessible for anyone. Go to the Secrets of the Boudoir website by following this link: Secrets of the Boudoir website to discover when the next night is to be held.
Take a look at some other pictures from the night:
Baroness Guillam was joined by a lone guitarist