If you have been past South Bank recently, you would have seen the spectacular offerings of a fairground experience, complete with a rotating bar. But always go deeper into a fairground, because you will find a far more superior attraction: House Of Burlesque.
Our host for the evening, Miss Tempest Rose, takes to the stage in a roaring fashion, busting out a version of Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ and incidentally bringing the crowd to frenzy within the first few minutes. Throughout the show she plays with the crowd, teasing lovingly and asking the crowd for their darkest fantasies in exchange for a bottle of champagne. Not only is she talented, but also she might just be your hero by the end of the hour and a half show.
Only a small cast, House Of Burlesque mixes traditional burlesque with contemporary performance pieces. Lolo Brow’s ode to Nigella Lawson is the performance that stuck with us the most. If you have a quick Google of her name, one fan describes her as the “Lady Gaga of Burlesque” and we would have to agree. Her performance comes to a fiery (and quite flour-y) end, and by this point the ground are roaring with applause.
But while Lolo Brow’s performance is the most memorable, there is no clear winner as to who excelled because they were all that incredible. Like Storm Hooper with her marvellous futuristic burlesque routine to Betsie Bon Bon’s traditional routine that had everyone and their Nan wolf-whistling loud. The biggest surprise of the night comes in the wonderfully chiselled form of Esquire De Lune. He (yes, he!) took to the stage as a fallen angel dancing with his clipped wings. Obviously a male act at a burlesque show throws you off enough, but to see him dance along to Jamie Woon’s ‘Night Air’ with such ease and similar passion as the other ladies was really something else. And while the entire crowd enjoyed every act, it was nice to have something thrown in there for the girls.
But sadly all good things must come to end, and of course House Of Burlesque made sure it went with a bang. In a time where everybody has sodded off to Edinburgh, House Of Burlesque brings a taste of the unexpected and wonderful to the south of the river. Bold, brash and completely unapologetic, this show will get your juices going by celebrating just how wonderful women (and men!) can be. There are not enough stars to describe just how brilliant it is, so go see it for yourself.
House Of Burlesque is playing at every Thursday at London Wonderground until 18 September. For more information and tickets, see the London Wonderground website.