One of the great things that the Edinburgh Fringe has always done is to give a platform to local schools of various performing arts within an actual arts festival. It gives a unique boost to the confidence of students and teachers alike and it is so much better than any boring old graduation ceremony.
Humour, tease, confidence and seduction.
Over the years I have seen some wonderful performances. This was not one of the best, but the power of burlesque for women that crosses age, size and shape is perfectly displayed here. It is a genuinely glorious thing to see proud flesh on show with humour, tease, confidence and seduction. Burlesque is a skill, an art and a craft. It is about you as a person, your body, your soul, your quirks and the way you make the world – and your audience – work for you. There was great warmth here, great delight taken in performance, and an impressive lack of the hesitancy that can undercut newbie burlesque artists.
Shame then that someone in the performing company decided to do away with the raised stage and have the performers strut their stuff on the flat, rendering them all but invisible to most of the audience. Shame also that the MC - who was impressively short and sharp with his introductions, and entertaingly liberal with silly but giggle-inducing jokes – fell into the old MC trap of building up each intro to yelling the performer's name, rendering them absolutely indecipherable. And shame that the show was promoted in the programme as a full on, slick, professional, all oohs and aaaahs, sassy, sexy Burlesque with a capital B. Nothing damages a show quite like misrepresentation for publicity purposes.
Having said all that, it was, generally, a great, honest, life-enhancing, womanly show. With a LOT of sequins and sashay. Which is never a bad thing.