This week, I help Kiki Kaboom, the international burlesque performer, singer, host and cabaret star.

Part sex kitten, part clown and all woman, she’ll be performing at the upcoming World Burlesque Games (7-13 May).

Dear Myra,

Everybody I know in burlesque swarovskis the shit out of everything. Their knickers, their shoes, their eyeballs… It is labour-intensive and expensive, but damn, it looks good on stage.

I have always prided myself on both my singular approach to this genre, and my laziness. Is there an alternative or should I also be swarovski-ing a go-go? How else can I stay one step ahead of the Swarovski Brigade when it comes to costuming?


Kiki Kaboom

Hi Kiki,

Yes those crystals are everywhere aren’t they? And I can fully appreciate what a tax it must be to apply them to every bit of Primark corsetry one owns. Here’s my advice:


What you need to do is convince the rest of the cabaret scene that Swarovski crystals are old hat. Regressive even. Tell anyone that’ll listen that it’s been done and quite frankly places the female form BANG in the centre of the male gaze. Start a blog, make videos and berate the use of Swarovski crystals as being out of touch with contemporary performance. Between us girls, Kiki, yes they look good on stage. But an aesthetic is a fluid thing with a shelf life. Some really good watercolours have been painted in the past Kiki, and still we fill galleries with Tracey Emin’s used sanitary towels. Convince everyone that the crystals are dated and ugly, and shuffle on stage in a potato sack to rapturous applause. Everyone will think you’re pushing boundaries, and they’ll applaud you for fear of being left behind.

You’re welcome.

Myra x

Myra DuBois can be seen in her evening of musical theatre Sing Out Louise at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern on 25 April.