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High Tease

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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The title of Ministry of Burlesque’s High Tease is appropriate. What man can resist the sultry teasing by show girls in colourful costumes strutting like peacocks or the deep throated sound of Dolores Delight, a sexy jazz singer, and Red Sarah’s Sexy Lexy juggling balls whilst wobbling her appendages?

Persia Porzia is a striptease artiste with style. She uses props in both her appearances - a parasol and a giant balloon - as she artistically removes her clothes.

This is burlesque at its best. It has been subtly updated but loses none of its appeal and has plenty of humour thrown in.

It’s hosted by Mr B whose sophisticated dry wit is sometimes masked by the microphone but who, nevertheless, has the audience laughing and shouting as he whets their appetite for each  imaginative new act whilst enrapturing them with his “banjolele”.

We soon learn that men can tease, too.

Sometimes the performers confuse us by appearing as one sex and leaving as another. Blanche Dubois is a master of the art. In the first half he bares his cheeks for uniform freaks whilst singing “I Am What I Am” only to end up in a sparkling purple dress. Next his ecclesiastical robes give way to a red dress followed by nipple tassels with one to match further down!

That naughtiness is overtaken by Casanova - described as “a mountain of testosterone” - who removes his jacket and tosses his tie asunder only to become our old friend Red Sarah who daringly sets her nipple tassels alight.

To describe this show in cold print is to insult it. You have to be there, lapping up the seductive atmosphere, the subdued lighting, the colourful costumes, the thumping music and the unique ambience.

Mr B informs us that the lighting and sound are thanks to 'Kev, Kev and Andy', but the lack of a programme, an essential tool for reviewers, means that I cannot name the creator of the spectacular costumes.

Saucy High Tease is like going to a nightclub without staying up all night. There is no chance of falling asleep in this spectacle!

- Julia Taylor

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