Next month, The Big Burlesque Event, one of the biggest conventions of its kind in the UK, is taking place in East London.
From the 24-26 September, many of the biggest stars from the UK burlesque industry will be coming together at the Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club for the inaugural outing of The Big Burlesque Event. Producers Agent Burlieque have worked with hundreds of performers from the Folly Mixtures to Marnie Scarlet and are looking to make this into an annual happening in the capital with a second event held near Liverpool.
The inspiration for this gathering has come from a network of British burlesquers who use social media to share their knowledge and support each other. Facebook groups like Burlesque Big Sister/Big Brother set up by Diva Hollywood have allowed an online community to coalesce around common interests.
The Big Burlesque Event will build on this by bringing together burlesque and cabaret performers, photographers, musicians, corsetieres, models and others from the sphere of cabaret, in a supportive and collaborative environment.
Those looking to pick up some new tips can attend one of the workshops on the art of the bump and grind, costuming, and achieving the perfect poise, posture and pose, among others. These sessions are designed to encourage new performers as well as support established acts.
The lack of seminars within burlesque festivals has been addressed here. Turn up and hear about “The History of Burlesque”, “Gypsy Rose Lee”, “Embellishment and the Art of Costuming” and “What Promoters Really Want” before enjoying “An Epic Talk With Jo King”, the founder of the London Academy of Burlesque .
As well as workshops and seminars, The Big Burlesque Event is holding a “Newcomers Showcase”, with the UK’s first non-competitive event. This supportive atmosphere encourages new performers to help one another, plus receive valuable feedback from emcee Reuben Kaye, Jo King, Agent Burlieque founder Sapphire Rox and compere Kiki De Ville. Cabaret hostess Lili La Scala, will be hosting the evening, which will finish with showcases of musicians and bands from the burlesque industry.
There will also be performances from industry favourites. On Friday night, Reuben Kaye will host a soirée featuring performances from Lolo Brow, Khandie Khisses, Diva Hollywood, Dave The Bear, Phil Ingud, Vivacity Bliss, Lily SnatchDragon, Peggy De Lune and Katrina Darling with more guests to be confirmed.
Other activities include The Big Burlesque Singalong hosted by Em Brulée and a burlesque fashion show produced by costumiers Talulah Blue and Daisy Cutter.