Silk and satin, leather and lace, basques and bustiers – and that was just the audience (including a positively triangular chap); my companion and I felt rather under-dressed. Well, almost. But it has to be said, more than enough time to people watch, from dinner around 6.30pm to the gone 10.30 finale, including two lengthy intervals of over 30 minutes.
Still, hospitality was that nice blend of friendly efficiency, and you could say the same of hostess with the mostess, the cunning, witty Alix Fox, who did a sterling job of mcing, smoothly glossed over minor mishaps. It’s not easy rousing an audience to enthusiasm on a Saturday afternoon, though The Martini Lounge Burlesque Show seems to have found if not its spiritual home then complementary surroundings.
During the splendid dinner, we were on the receiving end of tasters from Em Brulée, the Bee’s Knees and Milly Dollar. Then reprise for the main course and afters, along with performances from Velma Von Bon Bon, Snappy O’Shea and Roxy Diamond.
And the best act, especially for Boardwalk Empire fans, was the 20s inspired Bee’s Knees, their expertise vibrant with good humour and enthusiasm, closely followed by sultry chanteuse Em Brulée. As for the ladies with the leastest, well, to be honest, it was largely much of a muchness; seen one, seen them all – and if meant to be feisty, they appeared surprisingly fierce when surely flirtatiousness is the aim? Milly Dollar, however, with her fabulous costumes and routine, was outstanding; if Milly is short for Millions, she’s worth every penny.
On this occasion, a day at the races concluded with something a bit racier, though not a cheap night out, in any sense of the word. But judging by the packed, appreciate audience and a buzzing atmosphere, its glamour and glitz will long be popular.