Sunday, 4 September 2011

Behind the scenes of No Strings Burlesque

The No Strings Cabaret and  Burlesque club has been going for quite some time now and yesterday was the first time I'd actually managed to get a viewing of it, some of you may be shocked by this because of how popular the club is in Norwich, with sell out shows nearly every month, I must have been mad to miss it. I generally think this was the case, until now that is.

I emailed the no strings organiser Lucy (and a member of the sizzling Hot Bopping Girls) asking if she needed a helping hand out at any of her shows a while back because I'm interested in events management so it'd be handy for my CV and also that dreaded D word, yes the dissertation, because it would give me a backstage view of what really goes on at a burlesque show. Luckily Lucy got back to me saying she was in need of a stage kitten for the show on September 3rd, and me, not really knowing what a stage kitten's job was, excitedly accepted the offer. When I met up with Lucy I found out it was the general clearance of the stage, not that I minded, it gave me something to do before I went back to university and also it gave me some primary research to have a look at.
She told me that I didn't have to wear boring black like most stage kittens have to so I decided to go green for the night wearing my vintage 50s white flowered Capri pants and an 80s does 50s green shirt that my mumma bought me this week at Gold Rush Vintage in Norwich.

Posing in the parents mirror before heading on my travels.

I got to the Norwich Puppet theatre around 5pm for run through's and making sure I had a look at the schedule, I wasn't really sure what to do with myself as luckily I found out that there wasn't much for me to tidy up over the period of the show so I introduced myself to the sound girls and some of the acts.

Schedule for the night... which soon got jumbled around due to stuuupid public
 transport making Late night Shop well and truly late.

The acts included angle grinding performer Keda Breeze, smutty singer Ophelia Bitz, terribly British Count Adriano Fettucini and local performers the Hot Bopping Girls, Zannie Fraser and Late Night shop, who were all really lovely and friendly to talk to which made me feel very welcome, and of course their performances were unique and kept the crowd entertained. There wasn't a lot of actual burlesque so I didn't see a lot of boob which was good for me because I wouldn't have known where to look. This was more of a Variety show,full of singing, dancing, comedy and yes fire. It made me think this was what theatre was like years ago before television took over our lives and made us all go square eyed.

Count Adriano sound checking

The Audience started to arrive at 7pm, I noticed so many made the effort in their outfits with many women wearing corsets, bustles and all types of 'burlesque' attire. The butterflies started in my stomach, I was terribly nervous and was scared that I would do something wrong or trip up on stage but the lights were dimmed and on went compere Paul Preston Mills (another Lowestoft local like myself!) who got the crowd going with his improvised humour. The first act went on, which was the Hot Bopping Girls as the Hip Hop Honeys, a great realistic routine of chavtastic vulgarity which I thought so many could recognise in our current society. Only a few minutes later I was on clearing it all up, even getting a mention from Paul.

Paul keeping the crowd on their toes

Ophelia Bitz doing her titillating performance

Fire Extinguishers at dawn, Keda Breeze doing her fire eating routine

The show went on with lots of interesting acts including Count Adriano's boylesque on a unicycle (if you get a chance you have to see it, it was tremendous!) and before I knew it, it was over and done with and I managed to get away with not messing anyone's set up or falling over! I generally think my first job as a stage kitten went marvelous and I would definitely be up for doing it again just because it is a great way of networking and meeting lots of super performers!
Keda Breeze sparkling angle grinder

After the show Dj Jazzlord kept the crowd going with a great selection of music from the 50s and 60s which of course was right up my street so I couldn't help but have a little dance. I also got to meet the mustache clan who were handing out  make shift mustaches for the night so you too could have your very own mustache, I couldn't resist!
I don't think I'll be growing one anytime soon somehow.

 The Mustache Clan
Keda and Adriano

What great people though, I had such a lovely time and even managed to meet a fellow blogger Missy Vintage who looked stunning in a blue and black satin corset and pencil skirt.

Missy Vintage ( I apologise for my useless quality camera, this image does not do you justice!)

By the looks of it everyone had a first class time at No Strings  and by 12am I was well and truly ready for bed, after only having two glasses of wine I was going into hibernation mode so even though it was a super night I was glad to go.

I hope to work at No Strings with Lucy again sometime or maybe some other burlesque night somewhere, it has given me more confidence in working with strangers and has made me more intrigued about what else goes into events.
Until Next Time
Toodle Pip


  1. I never knew this went on in Norwich!! And at the puppet theatre? Well hello! Also, Gold Rush is amazing, love the post! JS xx

  2. Oh hello! I forgive you for the pick. I look a little red eyed and fuzzy - really rather how I was feeling by the end of the night! Hope to meet you again, we can tash up! I'm convinced all events need a tash bar. I love the idea of having the title 'stage kitten'. Too cute.