Burly Road Trip
Britain’s cities are full of burlesque and cabaret shows. In London you’d be hard pushed to find a night where someone somewhere isn’t waving their feathers and getting their Swarovski out. In rural villages like Roadwater in Somerset however, pasties are always about steak and nothing whatsoever to do with nipples. So when our favourite stage manager told us she was visiting home and the village hall, the Mineral Line, wanted to put on our full length show, we were a little surprised to say the least!
The e-mails said don’t hold back but we were still a little apprehensive about how the locals would react to merkins and bare bottoms! Knowing the show had sold out well in advance we crammed ourselves and all our burlesque paraphernalia into a woefully small hire car! It may have been a 7 seater but seats 6 & 7 turned out to be in the boot so there was a lot of luggage on laps!
After 4 hours on the road we arrived in the village and it couldn’t have been more quintessentially rural England, nothing like the hustle and bustle of Piccadilly Circus that we’re used to for The Wam Bam Club every week! The stage was massive with a great sound & lighting set-up and big changing area, certainly not what we were expecting from a village hall – it’d put a lot of London venues to shame!
As a troupe we pride ourselves on how tight our performances are and that’s down to rehearsing our routines until they’re second nature. This show was no exception and we spent several hours on the stage before customers started arriving to make sure that Somerset got the best performance we could give.
As we got ready, we were all treated to the same dinner the audience were having, cooked by some of the local residents. A delicious beef stroganoff went down much better than our usual pre-show visit to Pret! As the audience arrived, dressed up in their finest, there was a real buzz about the place. Jade was there performing her fire routines outside and Fifi was on the door in her Holloway Smith Noir circus burlesque outfit to greet people as they came in.
As soon as the house lights went down and we stepped out on stage in our Showgirl costumes we realised what a great audience we were going to be performing for! Whereas London audiences can sometimes have a “come on then, impress me” attitude, this crowd was just there for a good time! Every single number got a great reaction especially when the angle grinder came out. Power tools and scantily clad ladies seemed to be a winning combination! Our favourite bit of feedback was from a guy who uses angle grinders in his day job and thought it was amazing because he found himself half scared and half turned on!
It was one of the most enjoyable shows we’ve done and were flattered to be called back on stage for an encore! Even our stage manager got a well deserved, rapturous round of applause from her hometown and found herself welling up a little. It was great partying with everyone afterwards and hearing how much they enjoyed it.
Roadwater, you were awesome!
It did take a Little Chef breakfast & dark sunglasses to help us recover the next day though (yes that is an apple crumble & ice cream Fifi is eating for breakfast)!