Best of British burlesque

Monday, May 23 2011 @ 11:02 AM BST

Contributed by: Dan

Burlesque is a beautiful and very English thing. Slightly risque, but never pornographic; slightly smutty, but never filthy.  So Worthing's most seaside venue, the magnificent Pier Pavilion, should be a perfect place for A Night of Burlesque.

All the acts tonight are excellent at what they do, but they do struggle at times. The audience is keen; a mix of drunken women out for parties, metrosexual couples and a smattering of elderly couples who I suspect saw this stuff first time round. But there's a problem with the size of the venue. With no stage set, props or dressing, some of the more subtle moves are lost in the Pavilion's large auditorium. Certainly comedy act Piff loses some of his magic tonight; finger puppets don't work ten rows back. A couple of the dancers fail to get the whoops and cheers for small moves that they might get in a more intimate venue too.

Amber Topaz is the official headline act, and she certainly knows how to reach the back of the auditorium. She's old-school end-of-the-pier stuff, great moves and dynamite tunes. As you'd expect, she's also a lady who knows how to remove a stocking.  

Slinky Sparkles doesn't need to, with stocking seams tattooed up her legs and finished with bows below a Marilyn-esque bottom. She does anyway, thankfully. And lots of other rather charming stuff with feather fans. She's a classical pin-up girl, great looks and lots of attitude.

Ginger Blush gives burlesque a brilliant twist. Proving that men will always go for women with a sense of humour, she uses the Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme for a rap about the life of Queen Elizabeth 1 and a wonderful costume - an ironing board that transforms into an Elizabethan dress. It's a mix of masterful burlesque, traditional variety and modern music that  means Ms Blush stands out from the crowd.

Ivy Paige (a character created by Lucinda Ryan) is the Evening of Burlesque's compere, with sultry songs and silky patter and a slight smuttiness. It's easy to see why she's a star of british burlesque, with good looks, a great figure and gorgeous costumes. She's stays fully corseted all night, gives the barest jiggle or wiggle, and manages to be pretty much the sexiest thing on stage all night.

Pretty much, if it wasn't for Chrys Columbine (pictured), easily the most original and inventive of a brilliant line-up. She's been playing piano since the age of 11 and has a music degree; she manages to combine perfect piano and elegant striptease onstage tonight. If only orchestras would book her, classical music would have a much healthier following. She's sly and seductive and seriously talented. What more could a boy want?

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