Billed as “One tent, one ticket, 10 ACTS! SIDESHOW BURLESQUE as only Nana would remember. Three beauties, Gypsies if you will, perform their greatest oddities from a time long forgotten. Feathers, knives, hammers and hula hoops. Step back with us, just for a moment, you will be most pleasurably surprised!”

And indeed I was pleasurably surprised, who couldn’t be when three lithe, nubile and nimble girls bring you a feather fan dance, a can can, a quirky set with crazy umbrella tents, hypnotic hula hooping twirling, nipple tassels, a nail to the nose of a 50s housewife and much, much more! Did I mention the twirling nipple tassels?

Burlesque, I read (Wikipedia it must be true), means “in an upside down style” and aims to turn social norms on their head.  A clean freak 50s homemaker banging nails into her nose and a kebab skewer through her septum certainly conforms to this definition. 

Magenta Diamond (the 50s homemaker in question) is a gloriously nuanced performer with a number of tricks up her sleeve.  Highly watchable.

Eva Strangelove, is our dance queen for the evening and entertains with a feather fan dance and a humorous, lithe, twinkle-toed, dance with a shop dummy. 

Miss Strawberry Siren provided an aerial display, which may have lost some of its oooohhh ahhhhh effect from the small performance space that is Bats theatre and thus the proximity to the audience. It seemed effortless but also too close.  In addition to her aerial skills she is also a very bendy person, amazing to watch.

So yes, pleasantly surprised, yes, talented performers, yes, fun night, but mostly, I wanted to be teased, titillated, and teased a bit more. Instead it was straight to the chase the first act was strip tease, with far too little tease for my liking.  We were straight to the twirling nipple tassels and well, it is just hard to know where to go from there.

In search of the tease, I wonder if a rearrangement of the 10 acts would have helped create a slow burn, a build up if you will, creating a tremulous, quivering shuddering, that is then released in an explosion of…. Oh darlings, I forget myself!

Definitely go, these ladies are divinely talented and can only get better.  Be in quick as there are only two more shows at Bats, tonight and tomorrow.

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