Review: Sleaze

If you’re ready to leave your superego at the door, you’re ready for Sleaze. Produced by freakish crooner Mat Fraser and burlesque dancer Trixie Malicious, the raunchy revue is a lowbrow cornucopia of sensational kicks. Acts can go from silly and tacky to downright filthy, unfettered by the faintest notions of propriety. This is the skid row of variety, and quite proud of it.

Sleaze is billed as a New York-style burlesque show, which translates as provocative gibes and kinky bump-and-grinding performed at very close quarters. The narrow interiors of the Lockside Lounge in Camden mean that the 30 people nearest to the low stage are in for intensive participation as artists come and go from behind an improvised curtain that separates performance area from dressing room and DJ booth.


Sleaze producers Mat Fraser and Trixie Malicious often collaborate in harrowing double acts

On the technical side, things can get too rough at moments. The limited space dramatically curbs an act like Marawa the Amazing, whose lasso tricks backfire half the time as her rope hits the beams and the furniture repeatedly. For the first third of the show, the sound is low enough for the customers’ chatter to drown compère Trixie Malicious. However, her banter sounds timid and memorised even at a louder volume, struggling to keep the crowd’s attention throughout the evening.

What Sleaze lacks in structure, though, it makes up for in sheer chutzpah. Lurid routines marked by nudity and comically crass humour are the norm, supplied by the likes of Mat Fraser and New York boylesquer Go-Go Harder, a frequent visiting guest. The avid audience laps it up, then joins in enthusiastically during games both graphic and challenging.

In one, called Drag in a Bag, male patrons don make-up, wigs and high heels, strutting through the tables to win the public vote for best transvestite. Another, named Put the Lotion in the Basket, places a wicker basket on a performer’s crotch, which contestants must hit with a squirt from a lotion bottle squeezed between their thighs. You may also expect an onstage round of Spin the Bottle – participants of all genders and orientations can take it very seriously, as I’ve learned from personal experience. Executed with unapologetic cheek, the games are an unsurprising highlight. I can’t remember a variety show with spectators more eager to interact.


The Fabulous Russella’s riotous slapstick comedy is maniacally funny

Some performers make the most of the revue’s unpredictable nature. You can throw anything at The Fabulous Russella – hackling, stage falls, wrong backing tracks – and she’ll incorporate it seamlessly into her performance. In these intimate surroundings, the drag queen’s lip-synching-cum-pancake-frying skit bristles with riotous comedy, leaving behind a messy stage and a cheering crowd. Unstoppable and maniacally funny, Russella would survive a nuclear apocalypse even after the cockroaches were dead.

Sleaze is immersive shameless fun, tailored to bring out the pervert inside you. One could call it a guilty pleasure, if its regular patrons could feel guilt. The cast used to ask for tips, but now they’re selling raffle tickets instead. As if you needed a bribe to come to a show this good.

Sleaze. Produced by Mat Fraser and Trixie Malicious. Lockside Lounge Bar and Grill, London NW1 8AF. First Wednesday of the month, 21:00. £3. www.matfraser.co.uk


Photo credits: Sin Bozkurt (Mat Fraser and Trixie Malicious); others courtesy of the performers


Covering burlesque and cabaret is the best that C.J. could do with his English degree. After a hectic stint as the Arts Editor for Erotic Review magazine, running its performance arts coverage with a pronounced slant towards audience-abusing, tassel-twirling tempters and temptresses, he’s convinced he could have put his education to no better use.

'Review: Sleaze' has 4 comments

  1. 14 Jun 2012 @ 2:33 am The Dalston Fisting Club

    Hello C.J. – we are regulars at Sleaze events and happy to read your high praise of the event overall. However, we couldn’t disagree more with your underestimation of it’s hugely adored host – our beloved Trixie Malicious!

    Sleaze’s audience grows bigger and more enthusiastic every time and this is all down to how much we love coming to see Trixie!! Not only does she mastermind the whole event (alongside the fantastic Mr Fraser when he’s in town), she’s bloody great fun, strategises ALL the amazing party games AND creates prize hampers which she fills with her own hand-lovingly made gifts for every event!

    As you said yourself : “…the games are an unsurprising highlight. I can’t remember a variety show with spectators more eager to interact.”

    This is all down to Trixie’s fun & fabulous hosting!! It must be said – her banter is far from ‘timid’… this is a woman who mud wrestles crocodiles!! (Believe us, we’ve seen it!!) If you listen to the witty content of her deceptive butter-wouldn’t-melt delivery one will be delighted to discover the exquisite irony & tongue-in-cheek undertones of one of our all-time favourite show girls!! TRIXIE WE LOVE YOU!!!

    The Dalston Fisting Club X X X


  2. 14 Jun 2012 @ 2:12 pm Gretchen

    I love Sleaze too and try to go every month. Have to say I agree with the Dalston Fisting Club though…I am not one to ever get on stage but Trixie’s friendly and genuine hosting style made me feel comfortable enough to volunteer to play one of her fabulous games something I have never done at a show before. Long live Sleaze!!


  3. 14 Jun 2012 @ 5:31 pm Romany

    I can’t really add much to the above gotta say, but wanted to put my oar in. Trixie timid?? Hard to wrap my mind around that one really! Sleaze if one of my favourite nights out in London & certainly my fav caberet act, hands down. I’ve been onstage participating in one of her games (it was the Put the Lotion in the Basket thigh squeeze to be exact) & I don’t recall ever having that much fun with lotion……..

    I’m always impressed by Trixie’s creativity & seemingly endless panty drawer of ideas, it’s not that I can’t imagine the show without her, it’s just there wouldn’t BE as show without her.

    Thanks for the great times hookersauce!!!!!!!!!!!! xoxoxoxo


  4. 14 Jun 2012 @ 6:24 pm Becky Forknall

    Much of Sleaze’s greatness lies in the mega larfs provided by the charismatic and charming Trixie Malicious! It’s obvious how much love and respect she has for the event which feeds off the spontaniety of audience participation and the idiosyncrasies of its wild and confrontational performers.
    The very idea that her banter comes across as ‘memorised’ is utter madness and contradicts the whole ethos of the event!


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