Review: An Evening of Burlesque, Grand Opera House

3 Dec 2014 @ 9.03 pm
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Kiki deVille – ‘should have been the headline act’. Photograph: My Boudoir

An Evening Of Burlesque

Grand Opera House, York

November 28

I went along to this show with high expectations, having felt that last year’s show was one of the best I’ve seen. Sadly I, along with a number of the audience, didn’t feel it lived up to the advertising.

It was billed as “Britain’s largest and longest running extravaganza”, but you’d have been disappointed to see that of the acts shown on the website only one of them was in attendance on the night.

I cannot recall the last time I saw audience members leave mid way through a show, but several left the already half empty dress circle before the performance ended, and others complained of their birthday evening being bitterly disappointing.

I’d taken my friend along who was a burlesque novice, and promised her a thoroughly entertaining evening. I feel like I gave her false information.

I’m not one to write negative reviews about a performance, but aside from two acts, I really am going to struggle to be positive I’m afraid.

Far too much of the show took place in the stalls, including most of the headline act. It’s no good apologising to those of us sitting in the dress circle that we can’t see what’s happening – people paid to watch a show, not an empty stage.

The two acts that genuinely stood out for us were the singer, Kiki deVille who has a truly stunning voice, and the three dancing girls that made up The Folly Mixtures – Angie, Kitty and Storm, who also performed individually.

The Folly Mixtures were the only part of the show that was recognisable from last year, and I loved both the costumes and their routines. The girls work well together, and each have an interesting solo performance.

Kiki should have been the headline act for me. The Australian singer has a remarkable vocal range, and a powerful voice well and truly suited to the stage.

I’d definitely be interested in watching her perform again, and would like to see her back on the stage in York.

If this was your first experience of burlesque I do think you should give it another go. Parts of the evening were disappointing, but there were parts that were very enjoyable.

I understand that the show has another month to run in its current format, but don’t think that, based on this performance, I would attend again.

That said if Kiki or the girls were to appear in a different show then I would go see them.

As theatre shows go I have to say the highlight of my evening was the meal we had at the Biltmore before we went.