Review: House Of Burlesque: Shipwrecked @ New Theatre
What's that you say? Me at a burlesque show?! Rest assured, I have never been to one before. I wasn't entirely sure what to expect. I had in mind the recently reused Virgin advert with a lady with discs covering parts of her body as they listed great deals on travel destinations, as The Stripper was played. There were parts of that incorporated into the evening. But much more was used in the spirit of things.
I was amazed since their appeared to be more females than males attending. Some ladies in the audience had dressed up in fitting burlesque attire for the evening. This seems like the perfect evening for a certain type of man to ogle at the meat, if you will, on display. Granted, there were a few male hecklers throughout, but they were slain by the ladies on stage with viper remarks about their looks, stature or manners.
To be fair, I like my evenings at the theatre to have more substance. These ladies may have bared all but I'm just not that way inclined. I did wonder whether the feminist in me would disapprove of this sort of show. But I am a fan of cabaret (just the night before I attend an Edith Piaf-style concert), vaudeville and music hall, but burlesque seems to be filed under these types of shows as well. The list mentioned all seem to be in some people's eyes as inferior types of entertainment. I would partly disagree but when nudity is involved, it goes into a completely different terrain.
Without sounding like an old man, the music throughout was far too loud. The huge speakers about the stage can really belt out music, but it's not the London Palladium. The New really isn't that big. I can't imagine what the crowd the following night was like. I doubt anybody attending has regularly attended the opera or theatre. In all fairness, The New has just finished its two-month run of panto. It's quite a stark difference with this show being done just after.
The male attendees were an oddball mix. One man was playing up because he wanted Guinness from the tap and not from a can. He made such a fuss about it. I was going to have that Guinness since I didn't want it to go to waste. I would have had it not been fairly expensive. Another man turned to me at the bar and spoke of that man being a, "Pompous t***". Another man returned my silk scarf to me, after it had fallen on the floor. I apologised and he said, "You should be thanking me not apologising". What does he want, a medal? Perhaps this is why these men come here. They don't have partners (with good reason most likely) and wish to delve into the delights of burlesque.
The ladies did all they could with their acts. Some humorous, all flirtatious. I should note as well that one of the rules in this type of theatre is that a lady never shows her (ahem) nipples. All were covered with tassels to shake about, much to my disbelief. One lady who it seemed was from New York and made many jokes about Wales, the Welsh and her sex life. She claimed to be originally or Puerto Rican origin and had a sassy Latin attitude that you certainly wouldn't want to mess with. She was filthily hilarious. The same lady also seemed to play an older performer who was even filthier. Asking two male members of the audience to support her whilst attempting to stand on their shoulders, whilst fiddling between her legs and pulling sexual faces.
Not being in the stalls can also have its ups and downs. If a show has people going into the auditorium you feel those in the stalls have their one party going on. In the circle we could barely see any of those the cast were talking to. Most times I cringe when I'm in the stalls and they come on out there. Perhaps we could learn from Marge Simpson who pretends to look through her purse as the cast of a show come on out.
If you fancy seeing it, go for it. It's burlesque. What more can be said?