altYou would be forgiven for thinking we have lost the art of proper seduction, in an epoch where instant satisfaction is just a click away or at the end of Ann Summers’ latest rabbit-shaped device. A sad state of affairs, perhaps. How did our grandparents manage? Actually, don’t think about that. Sorry, too late.

Circus Burlesque emerges out of a dark cloud, stretching and seducing the audience in an impressive display of feathers. Then to the Circus, where ring mistress (possibly an innuendo), Tempest Rose (ditto), pouts, titillates and squeezes for us, ushering us up a garden path littered with stockings, bras and silk gloves. Through this dimly lit Eden the audience are teased on, encountering seven sinful displays of lace, tassels and flesh.

Tempest Rose is often in danger of running off into the long grass with the acutely receptive cohort of sweaty beer soaked blokes in the front row. Indeed, part of the fun of ‘Circus Burlesque’ is watching this give-and-take relationship with the girls on stage and perky members of the audience.
There is, however, an odd divergence of style in Circus Burlesque, between the crowd-pleasing humour of the Bawdy Burlesque circus acts, and the extravagance of Ms Lola LaBelle’s Baroque Burlesque which opens and closes the show. After being tickled and stroked by the winking Circus performers, few were ready for the ground-shaking, cloud-parting ‘Pride’ performance that finished off the night of sins.

From an initial dying swan act to the showgirl’s final bow, this show is great fun, and thankfully doesn’t confuse the sophistication, style and sensualist nature of burlesque with too many pretentious or overly dramatic airs.

Assembly@George St, 5-30 Aug (not 23), 9.20pm

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