Burlesque and Variety Highlights at London Wonderground 2015
21st Century Burlesque Magazine has documented the contemporary burlesque scene…
Now in its fourth spectacular year, London Wonderground 2015 invites you to eat, drink and be merry in its festive fairground on London’s South Bank and enjoy evenings of entertainment inside the twinkling 1920s Spiegeltent. Once again there is a generous helping of burlesque to enjoy, as well as other top drawer variety acts. Here are some of the shows to look out for this year. See you there!
5th Aug – 27th Sep 2015, 7.30pm
After a “dazzling, sell-out run” in 2014, the BRIEFS boys return to London Wonderground 2015. Glamorous host Shivannah will guide you through “a jaw-dropping, eye-popping evening of extravagant birdbath boylesque, too-close-for-comfort yo-yo tricks, valiant aerial acrobatics, irreverent interludes, and show-stopping drag artistes.” They’ve spent the last year touring the globe, from Berlin to Brisbane, and now they’re back, with more circus skills, more disorder and more burlesque… with balls! Starring two Burlesque Hall of Fame ‘Best Boylesque’ winners – Captain Kidd and The Evil Hate Monkey!
You can also join the boys for Club BRIEFS, a late night romp of music, performance and mayhem – all inside London Wonderground’s stunning Spiegeltent. 15th Aug – 26th Sep 2015, 10.30pm.
18th Jun – 17th Sep 2015, 9.30pm
Welcome to Miss Polly Rae’s boudoir. Celebrating all things ‘in the bedroom’, Between The Sheets presents “a hilarious and risqué romp, bursting with a dynamite mix of song, dance, comedy, circus and glorious innuendo that not only encapsulates traditional burlesque but also explores the darker more erotic side of striptease.” Watch out for a showstopping prop of epic proportions from British heavyweight Kitty Bang Bang.
28th May – 24th Sep 2015, 9.30pm
“How do you like your Burlesque – sweet, dirty or perfect?”
In year four of their successful Wonderground residency, Tempest Rose‘s House of Burlesque is back with a brand new show inspired by the nation’s favourite pastime… the demon drink! “From rum swigging pirates and showgirl Beefeaters, to martini guzzling hunks and ice-cold vodka vixens, there are some hangovers that are worth having!” Starring Bettsie Bon Bon, Esquire de Lune, Lolo Brow, Jo Foley, Oh La Lou, Storm Hooper, Leonie Soprano, Trixee Kixx, Riri Caboose and Gracie Disgrace.
You can also catch the House of Burlesque launch show, House of Burlesque: Best Of, on 8th May 2015, 9.30pm.
4th Jul – 1st Aug 2015, 9.30pm
Benjamin Louche introduces the “underground cult cabaret phenomenon; a dark and troubling cabaret dream from another place, taking inspiration directly or indirectly from David Lynch’s air of mystery and nightmare, all served with humour”.
Enjoy an evening of Lynchian cabaret and burlesque, full of “mystery and nightmares from the deepest river of your dreams”.
11th May – 31st Aug 2015, 7.30pm
Dr. Sketchy’s is the world’s premier alternative drawing movement. Started by artist Molly Crabapple in New York. Dr. Sketchy now attracts audiences in over a hundred cities across the globe (including New York, London, Paris, Tokyo and Melbourne) it’s the little Brooklyn event that has exploded into an international phenomenon. They have scoured the great city of London to find “beautiful burlesque performers, bizarre circus acts, and rippling hunks of man-flesh” and will let them loose on stage for you to sketch “in an atmosphere of artistic mayhem”. In between each round of sketching you get a chance to grab a drink get comfortable and take in some of the finest cabaret the big smoke has to offer. Hosted by Dr. Sketchy’s evil headmaster Dusty Limits.
Winner – Best Production, London Cabaret Awards 2014
A brand new show from “London’s finest purveyors of cabaret noir, starring troubled soprano Lili La Scala as an unsleeping queen of the night who must guide guests on a trip to her shadowy dream world”. Expect to meet showgirl sirens, shady troubador tricksters, alluring acrobats and many other glorious late night eccentrics, “as operatic bravura meets circus high skills in this theatrical feast for the senses”.
27th Jun – 23rd Sep 2015, 9.30pm
If you are a Lili La Scala fan, here is another opportunity to enjoy her and a star-studded lineup of entertainers. Following sell-out runs at London Wonderground 2014 and Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014, this year promises “bigger names, bigger songs and even higher heels”. Featuring The Boy with Tape on His Face, Mat Ricardo, Jair Ramirez, Michael Standen and burlesque from Kitty Bang Bang.
5th – 12th Jun 2015, 9.30pm
“Step inside, get a shot of something strong and grab a seat for the darkest, dirtiest, most dangerously funny show to hit the Southbank!”
Fresh from seducing audiences the world over with their riotous and risqué shows, cult comedy duo and infamous deviants EastEnd Cabaret are taking over the Wonderground with a show that exposes it ALL. Bringing together a “secret, star-studded lineup of the hottest, weirdest, most hilarious comedy and variety acts in London”, this is “unpredictable, unbelievable, audience-licking, award-winning, gin-soaked entertainment like never before”.
2nd – 18th Jul 2015, 9.30pm
“THERE’S A FIRE IN THE DISCO. And we started it. Cabariot is more than a show; it’s a movement. A night of passionate polemic. A burn book for Generation Y. Disorder, dissent and drinking. Angry, but funny, and a bit sexy. Held together by Frisky & Mannish. It’ll be a riot. A CABARIOT.”
5th Aug – 10th Sep 2015, 9.30pm
The “flâneur, raconteur and bon-viveur” presents the cream of alternative international cabaret acts, along with bawdy chansons and world-class sex poetry from Monsieur Lucont himself, as seen on Set List (Sky Atlantic), John Bishop’s Christmas Show (BBC1), Live At The Electric (BBC3) and Russell Howard’s Good News (BBC3). The cult hit from festivals worldwide returns to London for 2 nights only, featuring a different lineup each night, hand-picked by Marcel from the world of comedy, cabaret, magic, circus and music.
28th Aug – 25th Sep 2015, 9.30pm
21st Century Burlesque Magazine LOVES this show! Miss Behave (Best Entertainment – Olivier Award Winner) returns with her late-night smash-hit show. 3 nights only! “A renegade gameshow for the austerity generation. Part gameshow, part variety show, part disco… and phones. Everyone’s a winner!”
3rd Jun 2015, 9.30pm
The Gentleman Juggler, “leading speciality act of the British cabaret revival” and friend to the London burlesque scene presents “big laughs, serious skills, slapstick, and breathtaking spectacle”. See “genuine danger, dexterous elegance, and thrills” performed by “a man at the top of his game”.
14th May – 2nd Aug 2015, 7.30pm
“Following the hugely successful London runs of Limbo and Cantina, Scotch & Soda is the brand new circus extravaganza set to take the famous Spiegeltent by storm this summer.”
“A spectacular clash of spellbinding misfits, Scotch & Soda is a guaranteed whiskey soaked evening of breathtaking feats, blinding charm and beatnik soul. Join their players, some of the finest circus artists and music makers in the world, as they create a heady mixer of risk-taking circus skill and rip-roaring humour, with a chaser of never seen before flair and originality!”
29th Jul – 12th Aug 2015, 9.30pm
“When you start out retro, you don’t expect to become true originals – but that’s the position The Puppini Sisters (Marcella Puppini, Kate Mullins and Emma Smith) are delighted to find themselves in. In the ten years since they began, it’s extraordinary how many others have followed their trailblazing lead, whether it’s the gorgeous close harmony singing style, the swing-style re-workings of modern pop songs, or their impeccable retro-futuristic fashion sense.
With four albums under their waist-cinching belts and a fifth one under way, the Puppini Sisters are now regarded as the world’s leading close-harmony group, and count Prince Charles, The Manhattan Transfer and Michael Bublé amongst their fans.”
21st Century Burlesque Magazine has documented the contemporary burlesque scene since 2007. Founded and edited by Holli-Mae Johnson.