Between the Sheets: Burlesque on South Bank London

Turn up the fleeting British Summer Time heat with a visit to Miss Polly Rae as she stars in Between the Sheets at London South Bank’s Underbelly Festival. The Underbelly Festival, created from a combination of the Udderbelly Festival and London Wonderground, features short shows at affordable prices. Live performances include comedy, circus, cabaret and more. And if you like a variety of acts, stay for the Between the Sheets performance at 9:30 for a smorgasbord of modern day burlesque.

Miss Polly Rae, the equally affable and seductive hostess, warmly invites all into her boudoir for an evening of sultry entertainment. She casually refers to the gathering as a Friday night orgy and sniffs out fresh meat “burlesque virgins” in the crowd to corrupt. Rae advises us to share sounds of encouragement, pleasure and support during the show – much like lovers are in the bedroom, she suggestively adds.

Photo credit: Jason Moon

Beau Rocks traipses on stage, outfitted with an electric orange wig, matching neon lips and impossibly tall platform heels that are emphasized by a black light. As the number progresses, we find Ms. Rocks is also wearing a matching thong and nipple pasties, too. She confidently struts along stage, shimmies and slathers blue paint on her body. Although slightly reminiscent of Shakira’s “La Tortura” music video, this scene is more fun and “cheeky” – as Rocks’ bum cheeks serve as a canvas for her blue handprints.

Photo credit: Al Veryard

Tom Cunningham and Callum Macdonald show off street style moves, taking off a piece of clothing between each song clip of their music mash up. But more gripping is their intimate contemporary duet. The aerial dancers from Duo Visage also entrance the audience with their circus repertoire. Their limber bodies surrender into back bends and splits on a suspended hoop that spins rapidly as they manoeuvre into precarious holds and daring drops.

But not all of the acts in Between the Sheets are dance-based. Lilly Snatchdragon digs up tired Asian stereotypes, alternating from chirps of Pidgin English to perfectly delivered profanities, in her hunt for a British passport and citizenship. Thankfully, her comedy grows with the animated song, “I’ll Do Anything For Love,” and she earns a bonus point for mentioning the importance of consent.

Photo credit: Jason Moon

Last and opposite from least, sassy spitfire Kitty Bang Bang literally lights up the night as she twirls flaming batons and amazes with her fire eating skills. She closes the show, splashing about in a fire-rimmed absinthe glass, extinguishing flames with her mouth and shaking her flaming tasselled pasties. The feats she performs are impressive enough, but her easy showmanship and blasé attitude really set her apart as a star.

Photo credit: Al Veryard

Between the Sheets makes for a delightful evening romp. A burlesque show in London, where citizens fixate on acting properly and tend to avoid eye contact, is especially refreshing. The performers are not just bold; they are comfortable with themselves. The burlesque troop relishes the spotlight and builds an accepting atmosphere to explore various fantasies, spreading ease to the rest of the audience.

Although “Between the Sheets” has been revived and updated over the years in different venues, the last chance to catch the show at the 2017 Underbelly Festival is 29 September.

Disclaimer: Up&AtEm Travel was provided show admission for ‘Between The Sheets’ in exchange for an honest review. To work with me for reviews, guest blogs, social media marketing and more – contact me for a personalised quote.  

14 Comments

  1. I have been interested in this ever since the movie Burlesque came out. Looks like SUCH a fun time! Great photos too 🙂

    1. Author

      Thanks, Samantha! It made for a great evening out on the town, and I hope you get to experience a live burlesque show soon!

  2. I would love to watch this show, it looks so intriguing! I have never seen anything like it and it’s very interesting to read that the actors feel comfortable being almost naked on stage and manage a high-quality performance. The ending is indeed very bold!

    1. Author

      Yes, it certainly takes a performer who is comfortable with him/ herself to star in a burlesque show – and the ending couldn’t be topped!

  3. This looks like so much fun! I would love to go to a burlesque show sometime!

    1. Author

      Hello Sky, I hope you do get the chance to go! I think it’d be especially fun to go with a whole group of girlfriends. 🙂

    1. Author

      The show was really exciting – especially as I wasn’t sure quite what to expect! But now I definitely recommend seeing a burlesque show. 🙂

    1. Author

      Indeed! As a former dancer, I love how art can be made with the body.

    1. Author

      It was such a fun show, and I’d love to see another starring Miss Polly Rae or Kitty Bang Bang!

  4. Wow, Great pictures and love your writing style! I really want to check this out now 🙂

    1. Author

      Thanks, Ruby – I hope you do get to see a show with some of these dynamite performers!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.