The show that had a huge hype before its opening last night did not live up to the glitz of the publicity. Yes, there were spectacular costumes, fabulous lights, moody songs and modern pastiche, but where was the burlesque? This half-hearted attempt to recreate a seedy, sexual, camp romp into the late Victorian hidden world of temptation and sex was fell short on all counts. Mr Walter was ill-at-ease with his mis-timed lip sinking and faulty dance routines. He was adept, however, at removing his trousers, but after the third…. Fourth or was it fifth time of doing so, I have to confess to being somewhat board. There was also the stunning looking Miss Blaize whose routine echoed or, indeed, copied that of Mr Walter. She came on and looked spectacular but time and time and time again…….you get the point – she carried out the same routine with the undressing and contra-rotating nipple action. At no point did anyone try and engage the audience or try any interplay. It was a sequence of vignettes that merely copied instead of building on the last one.
Burlesque, for me, is more than a breast wobble or a man in stockings – it is a whole mood in which the audience should be a part of. In the mis-produced production directed by Jane Gibson we were given indulgence on a grand scale. The alienating affect on the audience turned us off rather than the usual requirement of a burlesque that should turn us on. Finally on this point, when Mr Walter’s was thrown some comments and jibes from the audience he completely ignored them and carried on. Surely this is the essence of Vaudeville, Burlesque and Music Hall, in that the narrator, star, femme fatal is there to play with the audience and throw back some equally insulting line.
In what was suppose to be a light and fast romp into the world of Burlesque I feel that I have just seen a re-run of a second rate student review! I know that is harsh, but for those of you who are about to spend £37.50 on a top price ticket and a further £7.30 on two glasses of wine I suggest you buy the DVD of Cabaret, chill a bottle of wine and have a nice evening in.
Gene David Kirk