City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

High Tease Review

By Irene Brown - Posted on 14 August 2009

Fringe 2009: High Tease
Show details
The Voodoo Rooms
Blond Ambition Events and Ministry of Burlesque
Running time: 
Desmond O’Conner, Jim Deveraux ,Sarah-Louise Young, Spencer Mavey, Impressive Johnson, Gypsy Charms, Viva Misadventure, Malady de Winter, Kitch Kats, Kittie Klaw, Pippa the Rippa, Pete Johansson

The last time I saw an audience as glamorous as the one at High Tease, was at a Bryan Ferry concert. Say no more! This was my first taste of a burlesque show so the clues were there already for a fantastic, glittering, liberating, cheekily funny night.

Kilted, sparkling and ukeleled, Desmond O'Conner was the enthusiastic M.C. who warmed up the already keen audience with a practice run of ‘whoops, cheers and saucy noises', not that they needed much encouragement.

The opening act was Gypsy Charms doing a smooth and slinky tribute to Marlene Dietrich with top hat and fur cape.

Moving from the sublime to the ridiculous, she was followed by the manic stripping of Impressive Johnson. When you see the fast, electronic, robotic moves of the Kitsch Kats doing their camp air stewards set, like The High Life on speed (a Scottish comedy show about life on an airline), you will not watch these safety instructions again without smirking.

Kittie Klaw is phenomenal as an outrageous swirling, bustled Boudica and she later teams up as Toff & Tales with the versatile Jim Deveraux (also a star of Desmorphia) in the hilarious Piccadilly Prowler sketch.

Sarah Louise Young (also a star of Desmorphia) plays Sammy Mavis Jnr when she does a jaw droppingly rude version of ‘Get Here if you Can' and later plays the French chanteuse, La Poule Plombee.

Malady de Winter is a seductive Snow White, seducing with more than the sparkly apple that is one of her props and Pippa the Rippa from the land of Oz astounds the audience with the utterly amazing things she can do with hula hoops.

Under a red light, Spencer Macey does a gorgeous flesh-flashing epicene striptease to his own songs, and all this and more joined glitteringly together by the enthusiastic and daring Mr O'Conner and the lovely Sabrina.

Unlike the legendary radio show I'm Sorry I haven't a Clue, with its mythical lovely Samantha, Sabrina is real and does a fantastic job between sketches but came into her own when the Canadian stand-up, who looked as though he'd wandered on to wrong show, overran and she gently acted like the old-fashioned hook that took artistes off the stage.

The show ends with a comedy can-can by the Misses Gypsy Charms and Viva Misadventure plus a mysterious man, who was maybe the shadowy figure in the La Goulue poster brought to life!. The sheer joy of these stars' wicked imagination, not just in their fabulous choice of names but in their sassy performance, makes this show everything Burlesque should be.

Times: 12-16, 19-23 August at 10pm