Usually my Sunday evenings involve a massive dinner, slippers, several mugs of tea and a DVD if I’m feeling adventurous. However, this weekend I donned my highest heels, red lipstick and ventured out into the pouring rain to check out one of Nottingham’s biggest Burlesque evenings, The Gilded Merkin at The Glee Club.
I’m far from a Burlesque virgin, and have attended a variety of shows in Derby, Nottingham and Leicester, however this was my first visit to The Gilded Merkin (and yes I did have to google ‘Merkin’ and yes, I really should have added the safe view settings first!)
Hosted by the stunning Scarlett Daggers, The Gilded Merkin takes place at The Glee Club down by the waterfront. We were warned to arrive early to guarantee a seat, however we dismissed this advice completely and rocked up twenty minutes before the show started. A completely packed out and largely female audience waited with lots of couples enjoying the performance over cocktails too.
The evening was compered by the hilarious Fred Bear. Rude, crude and deliciously naughty, he had the audience in stitches with every stage appearance. A brilliant compere makes a burlesque show and Fred in his teeny tiny outfits was a sure winner.
Our hostess was up first and Scarlett was beautiful in a stunning evening gown with huge adorned collar for her Kiss of the Cobra act. Her smouldering performance was the perfect to start to the evening. Next up was the tattooed goddess Cataclysmic and her fire eating skills, performing a fun interpretation of Pandora’s Box. Perhaps I was at the wrong show, but slotted between a bevy of burlesque beauties I was left wanting more…more fire!
Blonde bombshell Havana Hurricane absolutely went for it in both of her performances. Described as a ‘pocket rocket’ she certainly is bursting with energy and performance quality. If nipple tassle twirling becomes a recognised skill, this one is sure to be at the top of Havana’s CV. International star LaDa Redstar also had the audience, particularly the males, eating out the palm of her hand.
Sexy stuntman AJ James had the audience gripped with his knife throwing act and comedy. He was certainly a treat for the ladies and was met with riotous whoops and wolf whistles. Used to touring as a street theatre performer, he bounced off the audience’s energy.
The overall highlights of the evening for me were Audacity Chutzpah and Laurie Hagan’s hilarious duet. Looking absolutely luscious in latex (completely knockout) these two stunners performed a hilarious Laurel and Hardy style skit where the two encountered a whole host of issues removing said latex. Audacity returned to the stage later in the evening with a brilliant Castaway act, complete with ‘Wilson’ football, a large beard and some glittery red pasties and panties. Seamlessly blending burlesque with comedy, both Laurie and Audacity embody the tongue in cheek cabaret kitsch of the burlesque world.
The Gilded Merkin certainly makes for a stylish Sunday evening. If you like a packed variety show filled with Burlesque beauties, The Gilded Merkin is definitely a night to check out. The next event takes place in August and the line-up already looks fabulous. Victory curls at the ready ladies!