This month sees the return of Seattle-based troupe Sinner Saint Burlesque to East End supperclub The Brickhouse. Having travelled around 5,000 miles as the 747 flies to entertain us, the least Londonist could do is walk down to Brick Lane to see if their trip was worth it.
Considering many people associate cabaret with variety, how interesting would it be to see an evening dedicated to just one particular aspect of it? Similarly, at the risk of being labelled a watery twat, if the US really is an irony-free zone, how would these Americans handle an art form which is based on (and revels in) irony's cousin, parody?
Over three acts, the four performers - Evilyn Sin Claire, Polly Wood, Jesse Belle-Jones and Lady Tatas - perform individually and together in a variety of scenarios. We can't have been the only Catholic in the audience with a Freudian response to the sexy Sunday school teacher stripping to the sounds of the Tiger Lillies or the coifs-and-corsets finale as the quartet change their outfits from "nun" to "none". The routines are broken up by compere Jayde Adam's own comedy performances which include some rapid costume changes and a barnstorming version of an opera classic.
While these American cousins do indeed get the point of parody and the routines are entertaining in their own right, there was (costumes and music aside) little diversity over the evening, leaving us hankering towards the end for the more cutting-edge British burlesquers like the singing Kiki Kaboom, the fire-breathing Kitty Bang Bang or the unicycling Count Adriano Fettucine or troupes like Le Crazy Horse and their virtually-nude vignettes.
The food itself is exemplary with quality ingredients, smart presentation and a distinctive blend of international styles. Praise too must also go to the very professional waiting staff, the enthusiastic Brazilian chef and his well-portioned food: our steak was the size of Uruguay while the mini-starter of stuffed pepper was enough to whet the palette without drowning it.
Over the next month, this is the only near-continuous burlesque residency in London so if you're after a night of twirling tassels to tide you over until the World Burlesque Games kick off in May, this is just the ticket.
More information on the Sinner Saints residency at The Brickhouse can be found here. Londonist attended at the invitation of the Brickhouse.
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