Reviewed by Jan Mellor
On entering the theatre at The Lowry, it held a Parisian 19th century feel with the round tables covered in red tablecloths arrayed around the stalls area. It looked like it would be an atmospheric Burlesque evening.
With the start of the show – a heavily pregnant Eva Fox singing “the first time I ever saw your face”, “Songbird” and “Over the rainbow”, (stating I am not F****** fat – I am pregnant) interjected with more profanities and bad language (that apparently was meant to resemble humour) – it was obviously not going to be so. I could not argue, Eva Fox certainly can sing, but the comedy does not marry up with her skill. As Eva left the bare/empty stage, the hostess Natalia (apparently Russian?), wearing a glittery costume and boots continued the vulgarities with references to ‘her clap’, ‘her boyfriend who came too soon’ and progressed in with thigh rubbing, thrusting hips and throwing knockers at the audience. At this stage, I had a yearning to leave but the audience seemed to lap up the crude remarks and innuendos and encouraged the dancers to undress to which each one did always finishing their act in knickers and nipple tassels that they revolved with thrust. When a woman dressed as broccoli and a man who represented chocolate had a ‘strip off’ I wasn’t sure how far this absurdness would go. However, the audience still seemed to enjoy it and I only witnessed a couple of people leaving and felt I should try to sit it out. During the interval, I spoke to some off the audience who although they agreed it was crude, they were not that offended. I sat through a couple more similar striptease acts, watched a nearly naked Natalia on a unicycle skipping through a flashing rope and left.
I think I had the wrong perception of what this show would be about. I adore the Burlesque film starring Cher and Christina Aguilera and loved the performances, costumes and songs that were in this film. If I had realised that this was a satire show and was more prepared for the level of crudeness, maybe I would have enjoyed it a little more. If you like the type of humour you would find in a Benidorm Hotel – you will enjoy the show enormously. The audience played along with the risky performances, gags and monotonous raunchy stripping (one woman stated that she had seen the show before but it wasn’t as debauched as this show) but again she was not offended or put off. If you want to see a show that’s over the top, involves a lot of scantily clad female (of various sizes/shapes) and is linked with swearing and crudity then go see this show – you will not be disappointed.
Needs a certain taste.
For other shows at The Lowry in Manchester visit www.thelowry.com.
The Lowry, Pier 8, Salford Quays, Manchester, M50 3AZ | 0843 208 6000