On Friday night I was invited down to Phase One in Seel Street to *review the Spare Rib Superstar 2019. The closest I’ve ever come close to Burlesque is watching that questionable film featuring Christina and Cher. So, with trepidation and my general
questioning nosiness, I told my husband to cancel his evening’s plans as he had to come with me and watch some gorgeous girls (and boys) take their clothes off. Tough life being married to me eh!?
The night featured 12 fantastic, up and coming Burlesque artists that were competing for the title of Spare Rib Superstar. With an audience vote and a judges vote, 2 acts were in for a chance of winning to appear in a future Spare Rib show. The next is being held on the 25th July.
The night was hosted by the fantastic Tilly Mint who held a tight grip on the evening’s proceedings. With effortless presentation and a perfectly timed quip for the heckles (that were few and far between), she supplied each and every performer with a roused and ready crowd to entertain.
Last years winner, Celeste Steel, opened and closed the show with 2 fantastic performances. Her first performance was super powerful and followed the journey through body image and eating disorders which left me close to tears and feeling overwhelmed at the same time. Regular readers of my blog will know I’ve been facing a few body issues over the past couple of years and self-acceptance is one of the biggest struggles I am currently facing. Celeste began her routine with her body laden with labels of critique. As the routine progressed, the music began to build, her character grew in confidence and it became about a celebration of acceptance more than judgement, as the labels were discarded. Each time to a celebratory roar from the crowd. It was a powerful and uplifting start to the evening, setting a tone of acceptance and positivity for those that were to follow.
Burlesque. It’s just people taking off their clothes. Right!? How wrong I was.
There is something extremely provocative about watching an individual de-robe. Almost in a voyeur should I/shouldn’t I be watching this? Oooooo there’s their bare arse! Is it wrong to look? Shouldn’t I be looking at their face?! Of course I shouldn’t! These performers have cast away their demons, if they have any that is (I know I would have a shit load of them if I were grace the stage in me birthday suit) and they’ve stepped out into the spotlight, armed with their music, costume and routine, ready to give it their all and leave everything onstage. Literally.
And it’s not all about getting your kit off either. The amount of work that has been put into creating their routines is insane. From performing the whole routine in a Honey Monster head (if you know, you know) to taking to the stage with a finely-tuned, perfectly-timed and authenticly-awful Thunderbird walk (if you know, you still know), the variety of the differences that come under the term ‘Burlesque’ knows no bounds. From pure comedy (Cocoloveburlesque and Friskywhispers) to the vintage glamour (Meena Helvetia), to the utter kink of Peach Lee Ray, a night at the Spare Rib will definitely cover all of your bases. ?
The worthy winner of the judges’ award was presented to Friskywhispers. Well deserved as his sweet act of Candyman left us all wanting more after building up the crowd with his flamboyant use of his candy cane!. The Audience Choice Award was presented to Luce Cannon whose performance of Grown Woman was backed with a fiery, neo-burlesque, cheeky routine that won us all over! She definitely brought the Boom!
A personal favourite of mine was Lady Remydee La Mor. Hard to believe that she has only been part of the Burlesque scene since Feb 2019. Her energy, sex appeal and northern grit won me over and would be worthy traits of a seasoned burlesque performer.
All in all, we had the most fantastic night at the Spare Rib Superstar 2019. For me personally, it was super refreshing to see all the flesh on show. These performers brought so much passion and energy to the stage with unapologetic confidence. My personal realisation on the night that a body is just a body and yet is the cause of most of my worries and upset, was eye-opening and reaffirming. So I just want to pass a personal thank you onto the Spare rib for letting me be a part of your Friday night and making me realise that we are all beautiful and worthy of celebration.
If you fancy a pick-me-up or to go and see some insanely talented gorgeous people then get yourselves down to the Spare Rib. Their next performance is on the 25th July and what a better way to celebrate Pride. More details here, https://www.facebook.com/events/280659506189731/
*My tickets were #gifted to me for my review. As always, my thoughts and reviews are completely honest and in no way affected by the #gifting process.
Thanks for reading,
See you on the next one,
Please credit me if you wish to use my images, my contact details are on my contact page. Cheers, x