Sunday, July 20, 2014

Three years of the Perth International Burlesque Festival

Headed by Adora Derriere and Coco Poppin' from Sugar Blue Burlesque the Perth International Burlesque Festival has been hitting its stride from year one.

This year I would be without Perth locals Agatha Frisky and Kitty Litteur who have escaped the cat race and are tending the stages in Toronto - where I'll soon be joining them!
I arrived Thursday afternoon and flagged down a dapper looking Charlie D.Barkle in a three piece grey suit. He took me to Maylands where one of my hosts, Perrie (Ruby Slippers) was waiting on the sunny porch steps.

With Lulu Liquer at the opening party, photo by David Wooley
Ruby accessorised my dress, adding a fur stole, black gloves, necklace and fancy updo to my vintage black velvet gown.
The opening party was great, a chance to mingle and catch up with friends from all over Australia who had made the trek West to Perth as well as the locals who are always in fine form.
From Lallah Rook we moved on to Devilles nightclub where kareoke was in full swing and Magnus was holding court on stage.
Dumplings at Darlings
We took over Darlings for late night dumplings and drinks and then retired for a thankful night in bed.
I awoke after a short five hour sleep and spent the morning sneaking around the house trying not to wake the Maylands girls. Chat their cat was quick to sense that someone was awake and came out to the kitchen to wail for food.

Chat testing the smoothie
Ruby rose to make me a super super food smoothie of banana, cacao, chia see, milk, yoghurt and bee pollen. She tested me for allergies by insisting I rub the bee pollen on my hand.

Charlie dropped by around 11:30 with a giant cardboard box that Anne and I deconstructed to create a crate, we took a tea break before Anne armed herself and painted in the wood grain.

The Amazing Anne (Flying Wolf Co) at work
My phone was still set to Tasmanian time when I  ran outside to where Anne was enjoying a peaceful moment with a cuppa. I fell to the ground in mock pain  and said dramatically "Oh GOD, I'm due at Tech and we haven't finished." As I said this something clicked and I realised... It was only 1:30 and we had another two hours before I needed to leave. Cue me slinking away to make Anne some more tea.

Almost done!
Tech was finished quickly and I headed to the Fremantle markets where I discovered chocolate macadamia infused coffee. SO good.

Freo market's Coffee Connection
Dark of the Night Cabaret was held at the Fly By Night, a large hall  in Fremantle with a spacious stage and a large backstage area. It was a subdued but happy group of performers that settled in to get ready. We shared a large mirror in the dim area, faces ducking in and out at different angles as make up was applied and hair curled.

Is it lucky to hug a unicorn?
I was debuting a brand new act which was exciting but a bit daunting. The costume is by Zoe Felice and although I'm happy with the first section and received some good feedback, the second section needs some work.
Photo by John Leonard
Photo by John Leonard

Photo by John Leonard

Photo by John Leonard
I huddled over the quinoa salad after performing with a couple of the other performers, the food backstage was impressively good and we shunned the backstage gossip to eat our way through three bowls of salad.

Post performance- eating ALL the good food!

Curtain call! Photo by John Leonard

I skipped the after party and fell into bed, this time I slept a good 8 hours, waking in time to get ready for Coco L'ectrics Kicks and Spins workshop. We grabbed a quick coffee from Uncle Joe's before hitting up King st dance centre.

Yeeeah good signwriting!
Perrie with her honey layer cake
The workshop was excellent, fairly easy choreography but a strong emphasis on musicality and building on simple movement to add complexity.

Kicks and spins!
Charlie was in the class and ran Ruby and I home so I could pick up my costume before heading out to tech at the Astor Theatre.
I was one of the first there and once the two stage kittens arrived took them through the choreography they needed to know for Erte. Casey and Jess were fantastic and took it all in stride.
I ran across to Planet Book where Anne was working and then checked out the local general store where I stocked up on post show food.

Backstage was packed but everywhere there was laughter, jokes, costume appreciation and support.
My wig had previously slipped a bit while performing but I stuck about 30 bobby pins into my hair and it felt fairly solid- and itchy!

Backstage with Coco Lectric
I was feeling confident with my Erte act as tech had gone well but unfortunately by the time the kittens had cleared the stage and ran to where I was standing in the wings, Asher the emcee had finished his intro and the music had began. I told the kittens to just "GO!" and strode out looking calmer than I felt.

Photo by John Leonard
Photo by John Leonard
The girls (I imagine) followed me out and sadly one of the four veils detatched from my neck, but we persevered and after I realised what had happened - I have a clear image of Jess's apologetic face as she raced past me with the detatched fabric- I just kept going and tried to focus on the choreography and the new end.

Curtain call! Photo by Rachael Barrett
 Backstage I hunched over and devoured my hommus leading Bella de Jac to check that I was ok!

When not eating all the hommus I was posing with Virtue Van Tassel
The Afterparty was indecently close, at the bar across the street. Alyssa Kitt held court on a couch (her feet were sore) Bunni and mr Lambada joined us for a while and Ginger Leah Rye perched on the chaise couch.

Posing with Alyssa Kitt and Ruby Slippers
Sarah Park gave Ruby and I a lift back to Maylands and I spent a while scrubbing my face free of the pancake- I had already started deconstructing, removing my eyelashes and hairpins at the bar, a sure sign that I need to go home.

Brunch at Bread in Common with an assorted group of mostly Perth natives. Bread in Common is, funnily enough, a bakery, however they do have a decent gluten free menu. I had the sauteed mushrooms with macadamia nuts and a giant banana smoothie and felt pretty much like the hungry hippo after it's eaten ALL the marbles. Amazing.

C'mon, tell me we don't pull up well!
We checked out the Retro market and then headed to a bar where assorted performers slowly arrived in stages. Most of us were past legible conversation but we tried anyway.
Ruby and I caught yet another lift with the awesome Charlie, back to Maylands where I was force fed a gluten free pizza with SIX different types of cheese, force fed meaning they politely informed me they had ordered me delicious food which made me feel like I just couldn't refuse. (who'd wanna!)
I caught the red eye with the Miss Kitty's Meow girls, it was a full flight and being someone who can't sleep on planes I spent three hours glaring at the seat in front of me and wishing I could sleep like my reclining rowmate. Instead I watched The West Wing, my new favourite binge show, second only to House of Cards.
We arrived in Melbourne at 5:45am and spent the next three hours sitting in massage chairs, wandering the airport, cartwheeling through the halls and - if you're Oopsy Daisy- sleeping on the floor.

Nothing to see here...

Thanks to Mel and Mel and the cast and crew of Sugar Blue Burlesque. You gals (And guys) know how to put on a show!

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