14 – 30 August
2120-2220, Assembly @ George St
With the exception of ringmistress Tempest Rose’s topical, satirical and enjoyable songs, Circus Burlesque has a classic style and timeless allure which means you could easily imagine it having strutted straight from the stage of a Parisian music hall in the 1890s.
This is burlesque in its truest, most original form. The premise of the seven deadly sins runs through the show, with gluttony, lust, envy and the others all being depicted through some tasteful and artistic performances. This is an over-18s show, so the routines do mostly involve partial striptease, but they are performed with such elegance and style – with some quite beautiful costumes – that they are in no way offensive.
This circus contains no filler, and the elasticity of the contortionist and skill of the hula-hoop girl are as enjoyable as the other more seductive acts. All of the girls are great performers, but the star which shines brightest is that belonging to Lola Labelle, whose two routines are strikingly beautiful, with an emotional power all too rare in shows such as this.
Tempest Rose does an excellent job of introducing the acts and keeping the sometimes rowdy audience in check, and the production values throughout are high, with some excellent music choices accompanying the performances.
With its raunchy elegance, striking acts and eye-catching stars, Circus Burlesque is an enjoyable introduction to the true nature of the form and is the kind of circus you may well find yourself wanting to run away with.
Ticket information is available on the Assembly website.
Review by Keith D