Burlesque has been en vogue as long as the legs on Marilyn Manson’s former squeeze, Dita Von Teese, but male burlesque nights???
London is the first city in Europe to offer the likes of Dickon Savage, Tony Love and Lord Dashwood in the male tournaments of tease.
Amateurs and professional strippers go boylesque at the Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club for the Male Tournament of Tease with spectacular results. Wannabes are welcome to take part with free coaching from the in-house trainer who promises to help men make ladies scream! There are still a few heats to go and plenty of laughs in store. Tickets are £8, with showtime at 20:30 local time. For more information visit http://www.workersplaytime.net/.
I kid you not. Portly men with beards are the next big thing on the London burlesque scene. Also performing as The Bear Boys and The Bears, this bearded burlesque troupe can also be seen at KOKO in Camden during Guilty Pleasures on the last Saturday of every month, as well as having starred in the Male Tournament of Tease. A large section of the act were also seen earlier in 2009 at the Tristan Bates Theatre in London in the flesh. Check out http://bearlesque.thegreatstromboli.com/ for up and coming dates.
This rum Soho club has a history that dates back to the 1940s, but shows have been brought up-to-date with sultry and saucy burlesque performances from men and women. Finger in the Pie cabaret takes place on the first Sunday of the month inside the red and raunchy interior compered by “acid tongued” drag-queen Myra DuBois. She introduces top city acts such as Chrisalys and Lady Beau Peep as well as burlesque performers Bourgeois and Maurice and magicians Stuart and Maurice.
This all-female burlesque club puts the t back in tantalising. Volupte is widely touted as one of the best, provided punters dig deep. For £30 a head you can dine while watching the very best of London’s burlesque scene perform cabarets, or stand for the less advertised spaces by the bar with cocktails £5 a pop. As well as special events, there are late shows - which can prove marginally cheaper – on from 22:00. Barflies should look at Volupte’s calendar at www.volupte-lounge.com/ to get filled in on events at the Club off Norwich Street in London by Chancery Lane on the Central Line.
Have a go
Owing to the rising success of glamorous burlesque, Madame Jojos has become the first club to offer people the chance to get it on with the best of them. You guessed it, 2009 is the first year this Soho club has gone on the look-out for an army for 1940s-themed soirees entitled the London Burlesque Social Club, planned for the first Thursday of every month. Special requests include soldier uniforms, suspenders and bright red lipstick.
Where to stay in Soho, London?
Photo of burlesque performer in Soho, London, by Faster1974