Queens, Quirks and Queers


 

Dis Charge performing at burlesque show Warrior Women presented by Coochie Crunch in Bristol, UK.

Coochie Crunch Presents Warrior Women

Saturday, June 5th, 2015

Smoke and Mirrors, Bristol

Back in June I had such fun in Bristol with the glorious team and cast of Coochie Crunch for their Warrior Women show. Prince Lydia kindlyyy drove me down and we had a lovely sunny drive, while we chatted new costume plans, one of our favourite strippers, La Beti, and our upcoming adventure to Canada. The trip took longer than expected but we didn’t mind one bit.

We headed to Smoke and Mirrors, the UK’s only Boutique Magic Theatre Pub, for sound check. The venue was wonderful. So much life, soul and indeed, magic. The space for our show was perfect for showing off onstage but also playyying with the audience and making sure everyone got glittering bang for their buck. The first fellow cast member I met was the witty and wonderful Lynn Ruth Miller, who I’m also sharing the stage with at Bristol Burlesque Festival 2015! Whoop!

Our gorgeous producer Tuesday Laveau appeared, and I listened closely as she expertly ran Lynn and I through procedures and what not. The rest of the cast was busy in our dressing room and consisted of a sexy, raunchy and funny bunch of bad asses: Lilly Laudanum, Flossie Small, Fantastic Ms Fanny, Pearl Grey and hot and hilarious drag anarchist host Dis Charge. It was to be a totally sensational show of Queens, Quirks and Queers.

Dis Charge started us off with a high energy, rock and roll witchy routine that had the audience already foaming and cheering like it was a football stadium rather than an intimate theatre venue. From backstage we could hear them banging on the floor and the walls as leggy Dis prowled the stage, decked out in a skin tight black snakeskin jumpsuit and wild noir wig and gave face like a pro, painted in a dramatic, unique fashion. And then she grabbed the microphone and welcomed this colourful and quirky audience and they howled more… This was gunna be frickin’ fun! Dis Charge is an incredible host, so quick, arresting and irreverent but all the while charming, funny and so lovable. She kept the show flowing with electric energy, the audience engaged with wit and politics and the whole extravaganza queerer and more fabulous with her feisty presence.

Dis Charge introduced the first act, fresh from London, the reigning Burlesque Idol Winner, Pearl Grey with her Queen Elizabeth extravaganza. Costumed exquisitely, by her own fair hand, and painted virgin white with the addition of glittering highlights and slick maquillage she looked truly like a queen. Stripping slowly to Royals by Lorde and revealing the ins-and-outs of a spectacular costume, she busted into Can’t Touch This for a high octane, hilarious Hammertime, asseling finale. Backstage I was beaming, so proud of this young performer who I have known from the squeaky clean beginning, it’s been a privilege watching her rise into a bright burly babe.

Pearl Grey performing at burlesque show Warrior Women presented by Coochie Crunch in Bristol, UK.

Pearl Grey

Flossie Smalls took over the stage next with her dramatic, sensual and beautiful Valkyrie act. Head to toe in white, silver and armour, I loved the accent of her blood red painted feet and the ivory fringe that hung long from her elegant arms. Complete with shield and steel accents Flossie was a true warrior muse, walking through the dead and giving life through flesh and grace. Dramatic music and strong, simple choreography Flossie was a dynamic and sweet second act. Followed by the raucous and hysterical Fantastic Ms Fanny, this show’s energy roller coaster was making me high on burlesque goodness. In a tribute to the maniacal and magnetic women of Russ Meyer’s Faster Pussycat, Kill, Kill! Ms Fanny gave as good as she got. The audience swooned and swelled with each strip, each flick and I saw several Coochie Crunch fans leap to their feet as she smashed her final moments in an itty bitty thong, wild tassels and a full flashy split drop centre stage. It was a provocative and punchy performance, and this show was rising to exciting heights with each artists turn.

Tuesday Laveau took the stage next in her beautiful and bodacious Pink Moon tribute to striptease illusive legend ‘Baby Bubbles aka Elaine Jones aka Corky Dunbar,’ swathed in bright pink and gold coins and accents which, in true burly tradition, she made herself. Oh and in light up, flashing, clear plastic 7” stripper stilettos which filled me with absolute glee. Fresh from her sexy tour of some of the US’s sweatiest striptease hot spots in Georgia, Arizona and Texas, it was so thrilling to watch Tuesday grind, thrust and crunch across the stage. Not only is she an incredible producer, she’s one hell of a stripper. Her smouldering gaze, slick striptease and raunchy floor work sent the audience into a ecstatic frenzy. A sensual storm of fuchsia, gold and flesh, she bumped, humped and worked her pumps like the goddess pro she is.

Tuesday Laveau performing at burlesque show Warrior Women presented by Coochie Crunch in Bristol, UK.

Tuesday Laveau

Tuesday was followed by another triple threat, producer, artist, goddess: Lillly Laudanum. A real whiz with a sword, this belly dancing beauty always bring lots of character, history and intellect to her mad and marvellous burlesque acts. This evening she was dressed in layers of cream and sepia Victorian garb, delicately decaying skirts, curious corsetry and a head dress of bandages, subtly accented with rhinestones, gauze and blood splatter. Bruises shaded with glitter and a split lip and brow accenting her expressive lips and eyes, Lilly, inspired by the poetry of Dylan Thomas, haunted the audience as she weaved her tale and through the audience with gravitas. A spooky storyteller and mesmerising master of theatre, Lilly’s strip was unsettling, bitter sweet and revealed a radiant meeting of madness and beauty with the final vulnerable moments of her act.

The penultimate act of the evening was the amazing octegenarian burlesque comedian Lynn Ruth Miller. Lynn started performing at the age of 71 and since then she has been triumphantly skipping between comedy and cabaret stages, with grace and aplomb. An award winner at the international renowned Edinburgh Fringe festival and a Britain’s Got Talent favourite, Lynn incorporates burlesque in comedy sing and flings with great success. The audience was going bananas for this burly innovator as she played with cabaret standards, including: I Enjoy Being Mature, a twist on the Bye Bye Birdie classic. It was incredible to watch Lynn shatter expectations and ceilings with her razor wit, ballsy burlesque and hilarious one-liners. It was an honour to share the stage with this exciting and engaging cast and Lynn was the icing on this delicious sparkling cake.

Lynn Ruth Miller performing at burlesque show Warrior Women presented by Coochie Crunch in Bristol, UK.

Lynn Ruth Miller

I had the distinct pleasure of closing the show and facing a thoroughly entertained and well lubricated audience, luckyyy me! I presented them with my latest act ‘Pottyyymouth Princess,’ a true queerlesque piece as I smashed together lipsync and striptease; using the popular ‘F-Bombs for Feminism’ audio where little girls address sexism, standards and society with lots of F shots and the bad ass anthem from The Gossip. I was in a frenzy of joy, flesh and augmented anger, I wanted to give these Coochie Crunch fans everything they could take and I had a blast with this educational and energetic routine. And my heart was still racing as I took the stage once again, welcomed by the uber glam goth Dis Charge, with the eclectic, radiant and gorgeous cast of artists and sisters. This was one of the most joyous, streamlined and positive shows I’ve had the pleasure of appearing in and I cannot wait to return to Bristol and the Coochie Crunch stage.

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All photos ©Tony Barett Powell and used here with permission expressly for Burlesque Beat. Photos may be linked to or used online by performers/producers for promotional purposes with the credit: “Photo credit Tony Barett Powell courtesy of Burlesque Beat” with a link to this piece. Please obtain permission for any other use.

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