FEATURE: The Hundred Watt Club | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

Narc. Magazine Online

Reliably informed

Burlesque. It’s a bit of a buzzword, and with good reason – what else neatly ties up theatre, comedy, art and parody into such a sexy little bundle?  Ever so much more than just the ‘posh stripping’ you may previously have imagined; burlesque is a high quality cabaret night celebrating the glorious human form, expressions of sexuality, emotion and human nature with elaborate costume, movement and song. Showgirls, satirists and striptease…not forgetting, that men do it too…gasp!

I discovered burlesque in Newcastle, when visiting for a friend’s wedding. It was that section of the evening when they usually wheel out a covers band for a quick sing-along and a decent boogie – all good fun – but instead there emerged a beautiful smiling girl, semi-naked and wiggling provocatively behind a huge fan of glorious ostrich feathers. Dynamite!  My eyes were opened wide by this little piece of heaven and several years of crystal spangled hard work later, burlesque has become my career.

I’ve been performing now for seven years and the Hundred Watt Club has sold out theatres and Guildhalls, dazzled festival-goers and played hostess to some truly sensational international performers.  As the Hundred Watt Club heads back to Newcastle, the home of my first inspiration and many talented ladies and gents, I’ve put together an abridged list of the performers to look out for on the North East scene. Let them pop your burlesque cherry!

Showgirls, satirists and striptease… not forgetting, that men do it too… gasp!

Bettina Spankenhaus Bettina is a wonderful example of fusing performance art with burlesque, a real breath of fresh air. Her performances involve character parodies, inventive narratives, adult puppetry and a whole lot of wit and astute humour. She also runs SAUCE an intimate supperclub where you can be wined, dined and entertained by top cabaret acts all in one place.

Frankii Wilde The perfect pin-up, with looks reminiscent of a Vargas girl. Frankii performs cute, cheeky retro-inspired striptease, always playful, always gorgeous. She’s also a working fashion and pin-up model, founder of burlesque troupe the Headline Honeys and co-owns a unique photo studio. What a woman!

Warren Speed ‘Boylesque’ powerhouse Warren has been performing his take on male burlesque since 1999, a career which has seen him perform across the globe. He’s even shared a stage in Paris with burlesque royalty Dita Von Teese! He performs his own brand of boisterous, comedic and raucous striptease caricaturing characters such as Charlie Chaplin and the ‘chav’ stereotype. Let’s not forget his unique use of those tassels…!

Little Gem Not technically a burlesque performer, pint-sized Little Gem is a hostess, a compere, the glue that holds the show together. But don’t let her diminutive stature fool you,  she can whip an audience into shape with her sharp tongue and belt out a show tune like it’s nobody’s business! NO show is complete without a good host.

Tilly Tassel Tilly performs showgirl style routines, with acrobatic flourishes. Trained in acro-dance, her acts are energetic and circus infused. She also duets with NE firecracker Lulu Roxx – so look out for their high kickin’ double act!

Hundred Watt Club returns to World Headquarters with an eclectic cast of burlesque and cabaret featuring cigar-smoking keytar-wielding hostess Natalia Kalashnikov, gorgeous bump and grinder Cece Sinclair, contortionist Emma Louise, curvaceous comedienne Titsalina Bumsquash and pint-sized motormouth Little Gem on Friday 24th April.

Like this story? Share it!