Sunday, October 05, 2008


Back in July, lunching at The Leopard (a spiritual home, of sorts), I picked up a flyer for a 'Scarlet Fever Burlesque' evening of cabaret. As improbable as it seemed, Saturday 4th October 2008 would see a flutter of performers descend upon - or ascend to - the mother town of the Potteries, Burslem.

Last night, in the company of around 120 fellow purveyors of the dark arts - all seated at candlelit tables, receiving table service, and dressed in our finest and occasionally minimalist (lots of black, lots of red), I bade witness to the first burlesque club night of the Scarlet Fever residency at The Leopard.

Background note: The evening's host had previously been the subject of a reality TV programme, 'Faking It'. Therein, Sharon Pallister (as was) succeeded in p[assing herself off as the professional burlesque performer, Scarlet Fever. In convincing a small audience of performance experts of this, the triumph was founded on an intensive introduction to burlesque. Through the process, mind, body and spirit were transformed - without chemicals, without self-help books. At the heart of this story was the matter of personal confidence, which is why it is easy to view Scarlet as a beacon of something - hope? change? nipple tassles? - for the everyman, woman and wannabe, who just needs to believe.

And so, with a growing enterprise in burlesque teaching and performance, and a reputation, Scarlet handed over to DJ Telster - a middle-aged man named Terry, I suspected, for the evening's entertainment to begin.

I shall follow this post with details and images of the evening's performers, namely The Decadent Gent, Sentosa Sparkle, Miss Ditzy Diamond, Suzie Sequin, The Chantilly Belles, The Advocates of Deception, Candee Handful, Anna Fur Laxis, Tempest Devyne, and Scarlet Fever herself.

In my review (probably Thursday), I will be firm but fair - supportive throughout - much in the spirit of what I heard and saw last night.

* You'll have to forgive any formatting ugliness and / or inconsistencies. Mozilla / Firefox and Microsoft Office are transpiring against my efforts. Bloody listening to bloody people and their bloody suggestions about getting away from Windows Explorer. Och!


Zinnia Cyclamen said...

Anna Fur Laxis - hahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

Ahem. Sorry.

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Tempest Devyne said...

ooh Shane, I'm now on tenterhooks, not sure if I can last till Thursday as they're pretty uncomfy.....;-)

PI said...

Love the names.
But names like Firefox, Blogger, Orange,Outlook express, Windows Explorer all have me puzzled as I seem to have them all and one of them or all of them keeps gumming up the works. And Norton.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I happen to be a member of The Chantilly Belles, I was just wondering if we could use a section of your great review of our act from Stoke on Trent Burlesque for our Myspace page? You can get in touch at
It would be much appreciated. Thanks!***