Preview: The Great Burlesque Debate @ Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club

Laurie Hagen (l) and Audacity Chutzpah (r). Photo (c) David Blair

On Monday, Time Out Live House of Thoughts and female cultured cabaret company The Blue Stocking Society come together at the Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club to present The Great Burlesque Debate: “Art or Bust”. Few subjects divide women’s opinions like burlesque. Is it lewd, crude titillation (pun very much intended), a posh striptease-a-like fad that has had its time? Or is it a kinky, progressive and glamorous way for women (and, in the form of boylesque, men) to express themselves? This year, Londonist has seen burlesque all over town from a South London gay cabaret venue, a City dinner club, the West End’s Cafe de Paris and the annual Court of Burlesque in Earl’s Court. In all cases, the performances were among the highlights of the evening and enjoyed by an audience mixed in terms of gender and age.

Tricity Vogue, also known as The Blue Lady and co-founder of The Blue Stockings Society, and Time Out’s Cabaret Editor Ben Walters will chair a distinguished discussion panel including established, relapsed and ex-burlesque dancers, Duckie producer Simon Casson and head girl at the London School of Striptease and Court of Burlesque compere, Jo King.

This might sound like Question Time with nipple tassels (would David Dimbleby be able to carry off that look, we wonder?) but, lo, it comes with its own trailer care of panelist Ophelia Bitz and starring the talented and tautological Audacity Chutzpah, who, alongside Kiki Kaboom, Spencer Maybe, Betsy Bon Bon and Polly Cupcake, will be breaking up the yakking with live performances.  Take it away, ladies.

Ophelia Bitz will also be discussing burlesque with academic Dr Julia Long and presenter Jane Garvey on Radio 4 tomorrow (Monday) from 10am.

Doors open at 7pm for an 8pm start. Tickets are available for £7 at the venue or £5 in advance. If you’re interested, there is a “making of” video with Bitz and Chutzpah taking us behind the scenes of the trailer.

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