The Suicide Girls Blackheart Burlesque show is quite a saucy affair. The Suicide Girls are an online community, featuring pin-up photography of alternative female models, and has a large following internationally – the performance at the Electric Ballroom was absolutely packed and sold out. I was very interested to attend the event and to witness firsthand its signature feminine-friendly show and alternative sexual expression. With this supposed progressive ethos, and with the inclusion of cosplay elements (the group have previously performed at Comic Con), I was eager to see how different it would be from any old misogynist strip show.

The show consisted of a number of dance routines, each with a theme or pop-culture reference. Very quickly we were presented with our first pair of breasts, and boy they kept coming. There was certainly no lack of skin on show, and although I didn’t feel uncomfortable as a man watching nude women dance, I did feel we were objectifying them. At times it didn’t feel much different from a strip club, except from being of course a lot more soft-core. The female performers were regularly topless, with tape to cover their nipples and very skimpy thongs to boot. Unfortunately the cosplay element and the plethora of nerd references promised weren’t strong enough to satisfy, and you were left wanting a lot more. There wasn’t enough variety in the whole event and in the dancing particularly. To be honest, the choreography looked a bit lazy at times and seemed to fall back on the fact that the girls were topless for the most part, and so we should be satisfied. Apparently.

I must admit however that the general atmosphere was very fun. Women massively outweighed men in the venue, which surprised me and I was glad to see. Perhaps there is something in so-called ‘feminine-friendly’ burlesque shows? The crowd certainly very much enjoyed the show, many eager to get up on stage and take part in the saucy dancing when they were given the chance.

One other gripe was that all but one of the six girls were very thin. Surely if Suicide Girls want to present an alternative to the standard size-zero female model, they might actually choose some real women to be part of their dance troupe. Ultimately you can only see so many breasts, and that might be odd coming from a heterosexual man; but after the initial excitement the whole performance became a little too samey.

The Suicide Girls played at Electric Ballroom. For more information, see the Suicide Girls website.