Review: Blues and Burlesque @ Volupte, London
Parked midway between the Kit Kat Club from 'Cabaret' and a jollier, ruddier Fat Sam's Grand Slam Speakeasy from 'Bugsy Malone', Burlesque and Blues at Volupte is one of the best things you can do on a Wednesday night in London.
Remotegoat reviews are meant to be about performance, but it's impossible to overlook the delicious cocktails whipped up by the friendliest of bar staff, the restaurant-quality food (pink and perfect rack of lamb, delicious fish) and the whole seductive atmosphere which on a windy and wet Wednesday welcomed everything from youngish couples on date night, to a team outing which could have been an episode from 'The IT Crowd'.
About the time your main course is served, the music starts with Pete Saunders' powerful attack on the ivories, literally driving the rhythms along Route 66, and his own 'Don't Say You Love Me' where stamping every beat on the floor is perhaps unnecessary when you're accompanied by a talented drummer like Jonathan Lee. But the music really builds the mood up to the entrance of Vicious Delicious whose comic timing is every bit the equal of her burlesque.
Also known as circuit standup Leah Shand, Ms. Delicious handles the audience brilliantly, and both her renditions of 'I'm Tired' from 'Blazing Saddles' and a wickedly funny version of 'Ne Me Quitte Pas' were excellent. What's all the more surprising is how well she also interprets the dancing and burlesque, this is a very classy act.
For both Vicious and her partner Bouncy Hunter, the choice of material is intelligent and hugely entertaining: 'Whatever Lola Wants' from 'Damn Yankees' works very well, and whilst Sondheim's 'Making Love Alone' is hilarious, I'd have preferred it taken at a more sultry pace, particularly before the rousing finale of 'Tool Man'.
The costumes and jewelery are lovely, the lighting flattering even to the audience, and the professionalism and confidence of the performers can't be understated.
Clever, funny, charming, friendly, elegant, sexy but not in the least bit sordid, this really is an outstanding evening delivered with charm, wit and polish.
Thanks to everyone who joined Erin Kelly, Melanie McGrath and me at Mansfield Central Library on Saturday 25 February. We had a panel discussion and Q&A, ...