The campy, naughty, magical and bonafide genre of burlesque has experienced an unexpected revival during the past few years. Divas like Dita Von Teese and Cher, Christina Aguilera or Beyoncé, even Nicole Kidman, have volunteered their bodies and talents clad in corsets, garters and feathers to perform those racy dances that delight us all. Theatrical productions and musicals in London.
This art form emerged in Britain within the fashionable vaudeville tradition of the late 19th century. In recent years, mainly due to the influence of cinema, burlesque is living new moments of glory, and it is in London where you can see what many consider the best cabaret in the world.
¡Ladies and Gentlemen, Welcome to burlesque!
Friday Night Freaks
London Wonderground // Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road // Until September 5, 2014
This unusual theatrical production, pure burlesque, with more than four years on the British stage, was awarded the prize for Best British Cabaret in 2012. Some of the most celebrated artists in the alternative cabaret circuit interact with viewers, while Bernadette Byrne and her transgressor partner Victor/Victoria take us by the hand through a unique show where we can see up close, and even touch, some forgotten and strange, funny and very mischievous characters. At Friday Night Freaks, the audience is privy to the most unforgettable musical numbers steeped in unparalleled sarcasm.
Covent Garden, 27-29 Endell Street // Performances throughout the year
Circus is an innovative combination of a cocktail bar and cabaret restaurant set in vibrant Covent Garden in the West End. The surreal and elegant interior is the creation of the British designer Tom Dixon, who transports guests to a decadent world of glamour and excitement from the onset. At midnight, the place sparkles and the show starts after diners enjoy their exotic cocktails. That’s when the magicians, acrobats, femme fatales, desirable men and some of the night’s characters best not revealed come alive. The cosmopolitan atmosphere is pure fun.
Proud Cabaret City
Mark Lane No.1 // Performances throughout the year
The renowned restaurant Proud Cabaret City is inspired by a clandestine bar from the 1920s and offers a high-end dining and entertainment experience in an underground shelter that evokes the illicit glamour of a bygone era. With beautiful women in burlesque costumes acting as hostesses, the lucky visitors will be delighted with excellent British cuisine accompanied by some of the finest wines in the world. Afterward, the libations continue to flow, perhaps poured by sinful, lustful and irresistible hands. ■