We will be, announces The Divine Miss Em, our delightful Rubenesque MC, “buying the girls clothes with our voices.” Would that Dolce and Gabbana would adopt such a ploy.
This is a gloriously enjoyable, sassy and sexy, funny and fun evening. I have been to many an evening’s entertainment in what used to be Jongleurs Battersea, but never has the entire audience sat so comfortably in the palms of the hands of the performers. The Divine Miss Em is like June – “busting out all over” and out of a series of fabulous outfits. She sings, she flirts, she commands. The entire bill is one delight after another.
Sweet Ruby Deshabille is looking for a husband, and the most delicious Charlie Chaplin tribute act in the world reveals a whole other meaning to The Little Tramp, and it is a joy.
I am generally quite in favour of getting the shell off the peanut as quickly as possible. Cheap and shallow, I know. But I am. However, even I have been utterly converted to the sexual power of the veil and the drape by Sophia St. Villier – a woman with a body so completely beautiful it hardly seems real. Her buttocks are the stuff of the wettest of dreams and her breasts are alabaster perfection. Onstage, she is a butterfly. Voile wings and subtle drapes. I do not remember breathing once while she was onstage. I am getting a little lightheaded now.
The second half of the bill brings us Indiana Belle (AKA Sharon K), all voluptuous exoticism and commanding presence. We are honoured by a performance by the great Madame Galina, a Russian Prima Ballerina of hazy antecedents and larger hands and feet than usual for one dancing in the steps of Fonteyn and Markova. Partnering her in the pas de deux from La Bayadere were three luckless…er…lucky members of the audience. A joy to behold. Long may her tutu twirl.
After a stroll down Camp Avenue with Miss Em singing the iconic In These Shoes we were treated to a high-octane shimmy-and-shake, twinkle-and-twirl demonstration of burlesque at its best from famed US bombshell Kitten De Ville. Purrrrrfect! There is not much guaranteed these days, but I would be willing to bet that you will never go to a Burlesque Baby show and come out without a smile on your face and a shimmy in your step…and that is just the boys.
Kitten De Ville. Conceived and performed by Kitten De Ville and guest performers. The Highlight Club, Clapham, London. 21 October, 19:00-00:00. £20. kittendeville.net
Photo credits: Holly West (Indiana Belle), HatterArts Photography (Madame Galina); Kitten De Ville courtesy of the performer