Alison Lee takes in the burlesque LoveCats in, eh, Bray
Glamourous, flamboyant, sexy… These aren’t words anyone would ordinarily use to describe the Harbour Bar in Bray. “Old man pub” is one of the kinder terms reserved for the seaside pub, which regularly acts as a venue for local bands, trad nights and open mic evenings. But on Saturday 24th October, the Harbour Bar took a step in an entirely more risqué direction when the LoveCats Burlesque Troop took to the stage and sexed the place up with an evening of singing, dancing and debauchery.
LoveCats is the creation of local youths with a passion for the art of burlesque. The group enlisted the help of Azaria Starfire, a professional dancer, who chipped in her sexpertise and helped produce an impressive variety show that had the bar jammed all night. Azaria herself was undoubtedly one of the show’s highlights, combining ballet and burlesque to tracks like ‘Johnny Got A Boom Boom’ by Imelda May and ‘Coin Operated Boy’ by the Dresden Dolls. The rest of the troupe got to the strut their stuff onstage too: ‘I Want To Be Evil’ by Eartha Kitt and ‘I Put A Spell On You’ by Screaming Jay Hawkins are just some of the raunchy songs dancers Trixie Vixen, Lilly deValle and Kitty LaRue performed choreographies to.
‘Choreography’ is far too dull a word to describe the full-on burlesque dancing that was on display; the group had the sexy costumes, the moves, the looks and the attitude to pull it off: not bad at all for a troupe of burlesque virgins.
The majority of the show was comprised of dances, but dashing street magician Patrick Leddy quietened things down a little with a magic show. He astonished the crowd with card tricks and mind-reading, and yours truly was even dragged up on stage to play the part of “lovely assistant”. The night wouldn’t have been complete without music, provided by Sally O’Duanling and Gillian Boate who respectively covered Meet Me At The Moon and Fever. There were some educational moments too, such as MC Top Kat’s highly informative reading of extracts from Sex Tips For Married Couples from 1894.
Many readers might be sceptical about the concept of burlesque. Is it just an excuse for girls to… well, get their tits out and guys to watch, because it’s an “art form”? It’s not for the faint-hearted, that’s for sure. But a huge amount of skill, hard work and thought goes into a good burlesque show, and the result is glamorous, fun, and sexy. So what’s there to complain about? The LoveCats Burlesque Troop definitely made a memorable debut – the costumes, props and organisation couldn’t have been more professional.