Burlesque Bible Magazine Regional Feature

Here's a quick link to a feature in The Burlesque Bible Magazine on the Burlesque scene throughout the UK. Check out the cheeky little feature penned by little old me on the Burlesque scene in Wales below. Enjoy xx

Keep an eye out for my review of Wales' first Burlesque Festival exclusively for The Burlesque Bible Magazine in April's feature!

Regional Burlesque Guide Part Two! | Burlesque Bible Magazine


Burlesque in Wales with Betty Blue Eyes

Big Names – Sandy Sure, Foo Foo La Belle, Lilly Laudanum, Lady Lollipop, Pretty

S’vere

Hot Spots - The Bluestocking Lounge, Burlesque Cardiff, Angel Delites, Academy of Burlesque and Cabaret

Ones to Watch – Miss Primrose Proper, Bella Bambina, Scarlet Blush, Katie Von Cupcake, GiGi Sextone and Poppy Vanguard

Classes – The Revue Studios, Burlesque Cardiff, Academy of Burlesque and Cabaret, Ruby Room

The Scene


My first experience of burlesque was in my hometown of Cardiff, the Capital city of Wales, a look through the tantalising keyhole of a ‘What the Butler Saw’ night hosted by the lovely Miss Lady Lollipop. These were, and continue to be, regular nights in Cardiff held at a variety of different venues including Migi’s, Minksy’s Showbar, The Glo bar until they finally found their home at The Globe, a unique music venue that still retains the charm of its previous life as a cinema with a modest proscenium arch stage and wide balcony and baroque decoration. A dark and brooding venue which fits well with Butler’s resident band Johnny Cage & the Voodoo Groove band and it’s variety of guest burlesque performers.

Ten years ago burlesque in Wales was very much in its infancy, a shy and unassuming creature that now and again stepped fleetingly into the spotlight, a few sporadic cabaret and burlesque nights popping up at different venues throughout Wales with the occasional visiting companies making an appearance. But over the years burlesque in Wales has grown in confidence and has gained a fierce appetite that has nurtured and produced some fantastic, innovative and creative home-grown and adopted performers.

Big Names

Sandy Sure is a blonde bombshell who brings vibrant characters to life through narrative dance routines that are deliciously glamorous and delightfully funny. Her exquisite custom made costumes, crafted by her own fair hand are a feast for the eyes

Foo Foo La Belle is a classically trained dancer with over 15 years of performing experience, Foo Foo is especially known for her en-pointe routines, her performances are alternatively humorous, erotic, cheeky and dark.

Lilly Laudanum Playful parodies and gory stories are Lilly’s speciality. Filled with dark and eloquent humour, flamboyance and a flavour of Victoriana, her narratives take the audience on a spectacular alternative burlesque adventure.

Lucy Purr is dark, seductive and inventive. Lucy is a lady with a mysterious presence who captivates audiences with her elegant retro looks and distinct tales.

Lady Lollipop is the epitome of elegance, splendour and beauty, Lady Lollipop’s delicious cheesecake routines and glamorous performances dazzle all.

Pretty S’vere is a trained dancer, Pretty is a qualified Ministry of Burlesque teacher and runs classes in and around Cardiff. Her burlesque style is a wonderful mix of choreography and theatrical comedy. She is also founder of, and performs with, The Follie Dollies, a Cabaret & Burlesque Troupe who present annual shows in and around Cardiff and perform throughout the UK.

Hot Spots

Swansea

The Bluestocking Lounge based in Swansea are a production company that produce spectacular shows bringing internationally renowned performers to South Wales. Headed by producer and resident artist Lilly Laudanum along with assistant producer DeeDee DeLa Rouge, each show features stalwarts of the burlesque circuit along with the best of Welsh talent and great slots for newcomers to the burlesque scene. Bluestocking Lounge runs two types of shows: bi-monthly nights in Swansea – now residing in the city’s historic Grand Theatre, a fabulous evening that boasts an open, friendly and informal atmosphere that attracts audiences both old and new. In addition, Bluestocking run a more formal theatre-style show annually at Carmarthen’s Lyric Theatre.


Cardiff


Burlesque Cardiff is a production company and community dance group devised and led by artistic director Miss Foo Foo La Belle. Foo Foo produces four large themed burlesque shows every year in Cardiff which often include a glittering array of comedians, guest performers, musicians, bands, pole dancers, poets and variety performers. In addition to the show there are always stalls filled with burlesque accessories, jewellery and vintage clothes. Burlesque Cardiff nights are full of fanciful fun with a clad iron following who always turn up in their best dressed burlesque apparel. December this year offers an evening of Victorian steam powered splendour in its Steam Punk show. La Belle Époque Club, Cardiff Burlesque’s professional burlesque touring show, visits a wide variety of venues across the UK showcasing some of its best talent.

South Wales

Burlesque for Social Good – The Angel De-Lites are a South Wales based troupe that have formed a social enterprise to enable them to continue to put on charity burlesque shows, perform at existing events and provide burlesque workshops to community groups such as those living with cancer, survivors of domestic violence, sensory impairments and transgender groups to name a few. The 4 piece troupe made up of Didi Curve, Honey Holiday, Lady Moon Buns and Miss Red have been performing since 2009/10, helping raise money for charity and so far have helped raise over £16k for various charities and were VIP fundraisers for Tenovus and Real Radio in Oct/Nov 11.

Ones to Watch

And not forgetting up and coming newbie performers to name but a few among the fantastic talent that is emerging from the rolling Welsh hills. Miss Primrose Proper and Bella Bambina are two gorgeous and exciting new burlesque starlets based in Swansea who have burst onto the scene with zest and vigour.

Cardiff has a plethora of delicious talent including Katie Von Cupcake, a dark and sultry performer with a sprinkle of gothic punk, GiGi Sextone who blends song with burlesque tease reminiscent of the golden age of caberet, Poppy Vanguard, the bright eyed beauty who seduces her audience with a mere smile and a wiggle and not forgetting the wonderful Scarlet Blush whos routines are expertly crafted into unique and imaginative narratives.

In Wales the burlesque scene and its community is strong with a large and ever growing audience of avid followers. Over the years a number of established producers have emerged to help burlesque take centre stage and is home to a vibrant hub of companies and teachers:

Classes

Swansea

Lilly Laudanum and DeeDee collectively known as The Bay Belles; a fantastic double act with a talent for comedy and satire, run regular classes at The Revue Studios which include a 6-week beginners class, one-day taster sessions, pastie making workshops, bra embellishment workshops and other burlesque-related classes. In addition international performers who are in town for the bi-monthly Bluestocking Lounge shows hold master classes in disciplines such as fan dance, balloon dance and classic tease. What more could a girl want?

Cardiff


In addition to shows, Foo Foo Labelle runs workshops and classes in Cardiff that are open to ladies of all ages and backgrounds, teaching the art of the Classic Burlesque, to those who are ready (and willing!) to become an eclectic band of show girls and chorus dancers, some who then go on to become soloists. Cardiff Burlesque is a great collective community and also offers a great burlesque night out.

Academy of Burlesque and Cabaret, run by Gypsy Charms and Viva Misadventure, has led the UK’s burlesque teaching revolution, teaching burlesque in the UK since 2005 and working with National Dance Centres nationwide, as well as previously working as MoB (Ministry of Burlesque) Academy. Viva Misadventure, a new addition to the talent collective in Wales, now residing in Cardiff she offers classes teaching the staples of posing, peeling, teasing and character work, learning to pose like Marilyn Monroe, peel like Gypsy Rose Lee, tease like Immodesty Blaize and discover that inner diva, femme fatale, comedian or ‘bad girl’ – all in a day’s work for a budding burlesque artist! Viva’s classes span Cardiff, Swansea, Newport and the surrounding areas, offering brand new six-week burlesque beginners courses and drop in day workshops alongside burlesque, showgirl, can-can and fan dance hen parties across Wales and the UK.

Mid and North Wales

And it doesn’t stop there……….from the far reaches of West Wales where the Ruby Room produced by the lovely Titty Amore presents annual burlesque shows to mid and North Wales, burlesque is exploding into the limelight with sheer gusto. The burlesque scene in Wales is still gaining momentum and has built a stoic presence both at home and in the UK through its home-grown talent and production companies. The future is bright as March next year heralds Wales’ first ever Burlesque Festival collaboration between Cardiff Burlesque and Bluestocking Lounge. One thing is for certain, when it comes to burlesque, Wales is definitely not a corner of the world to be over looked.

Diolch yn fawr! Betty xx