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The Lowry, 23 July 2011


Very variegated, that’s how I’d describe this particular burlesque show.

The compere, a certain Miss Crimson Skye, looked and acted for all the world as though she’d just stepped from the cover of an American true crime magazine.  Or from a Jim Thompson paperback original, the blurb on the cover reading something like ‘They desired her but she destroyed them, as she clawed her way to the top… man by man.’  Her demeanour vibed Pulp Princess.

Among the other acts there was a magician who was also a dab hand at shadow play, a juggler/knife-catcher/acrobat and a torch singer from Preston, of all places.  She’d been blessed with a voice from heaven as some kind of celestial compensation, you fancied.  There were also a couple of fancy dancers who did two routines a piece.  Of the quartet, I much preferred Miss Bon-Bon’s monkey business routine.  More attitude, less tease.

That leaves Des O’Connor, to my mind one of the classiest burlesque acts around.  His act is a kind of dark music hall, traditional but with a twist.  He plays the ukulele and sings songs about necrophilia, now how English is that?  You might characterise him as a very cheeky chappie indeed.