burlesque, Burlesque Hall of Fame, cabaret, East End Cabaret, Edinburgh, Edinburgh Fringe, Fringe, Frisky & Mannish, Gamarjobat, King of Burlesque, Mat Ricardo, Pleasance Dome, Ray Gunn, Red Bastard, Russell Bruner, Sam Wills, Stage Door Johnnies, Tom Barnes, variety
So here we are at the biggest Fringe Festival in the world. The Mile is full of, what seem to my eyes to be, twelve year olds who look like they’ve raided a dressing up box. There is the usual assortment of nuns and soldiers, lingerie-clad nubile blondes and buff young chaps wrapped in sheets and enough logo’d sweatshirts to keep a small print shop in business. Strains of ukelele, violin and tambourine waft upwards mingling with the snatched snippets of songs. It’s 10 am and already I have heard a varied programme of songs including, (but not limited to) Brush Up Your Shakespeare, It’s a Long Way to Tipperary and something which may have been in the charts recently but now it is in unaccompanied close harmony sung by American students! The smell of kerosene vapour drifts through my window from the street performer below.
We arrived on Monday and after a thorough clean, our flat seems more like home. We have unpacked and cooked enough food for the month, all neatly packaged in the freezer. On Wednesday, I was invited to the preview show of a brand new all male burlesque revue, Dixey. The line up is utterly stellar and crowned burlesque royalty and I was incredibly excited to see them perform. They didn’t disappoint; Tigger, Russell Bruner and the Stage Door Johnnies are a fabulous example of the ‘Boylesque’ genre. I was particularly enamoured with Russell Bruner, (so adorably kooky, he’s like a silent movie villain made real complete with splendid moustache) and Ray Gunn might just be the most hypnotic, sexual being I have ever seen. In short, it’s the only chance you will get to see real Kings of Burlesque (they have all won crowns at Miss Exotic World in Las Vegas) performing together, here in the UK. If you are here in Edinburgh, you must go!
My show, Another F*cking Variety Show, opened last night. We have new songs, we have a piano player (the amazing Tom Barnes) and we have some very sparkly letters. The heels are high, the dresses are big and the reception was very warm. Added to that, the most killer line up; we had Frisky & Mannish, East End Cabaret, Red Bastard, Mat Ricardo, Sam Wills and Gamarjobat and they took the roof off! There were a couple of hairy moments, the odd forgotten lyric and a nearly finished gown (thank you Miss Cherryfox!) but we open properly tonight and hopefully those little things will be ironed out.
So good luck to all my fellow cabarati, see you at the bar!