Blues and Burlesque: Hotter Than Hell

Blues and Burlesque, featuring sexy Scarlett Belle, sassy and silly Vicious Delicious and their smooth accompanist, Pete Saunders, is a good value 50 minutes of raunchy entertainment. The blues are soulful, the burlesque thrusting and the comedy plentiful. At some points I almost forgot I had just stepped out of the mid-afternoon Edinburgh sun and felt myself spirited into a late-night Jazz club.

The show is a good mix of song, dance and flirty fun. It is far funnier than billed in the programme and the whole thing is well produced.

Pete is the bar owner and pianist, Scarlett and Vicious are two of the showgirls with a hilarious rivalry. Vicious spends half the show trying to bump Scarlett off the stage and Scarlett responds with many a mechanically levered middle finger. When they are not giving each other evils during duets they perform individual numbers. Scarlett sings of her beardophilia, “it’s just so cute, I love a man who’s hirsute” and Vicious offers to give us the lyrics of a number about trying to get rid of a boyfriend.

Although they all sing, and the women both dance, there is a basic division of labour between them. Pete takes care of the blues, Scarlett the burlesque and Vicious the comedy. Pete’s tinkling tunes on the piano create the mood and he has some funny one-liners in his in-between-numbers songs, including observing that the audience “has probably by now noticed the show has some adult themes… disillusionment and regret”.

Scarlett’s burlesque is intermittent - most of the show is just scantily clad singing and dancing - but good. Admirers of big feather fans and the all-important nipple tassel will not be disappointed.

Although the ‘competitive double-act’ act works well, and you couldn’t fault Scarlett, Vicious Delicious is the real star. As the show began I wasn’t sure whether her manic, almost worried, grin was the result of early show nerves or part of the act. The moment she started clambering into the crowd and undulating forcefully on the shoulders of bashful audience members, it became clear that it was the latter. The cockney comedy continued perfectly pitched as she encouraged punters to tug her dress off in the most anti-erotic way possible, and the well-timed jokes flowed through the rest of her songs.

Overall the show is a good mix of song, dance and flirty fun. It is far funnier than billed in the programme and the whole thing is well produced. If you’re looking for some music and laughs and have a spare hour in the afternoon, then this is worth a watch.

Reviews by Sarah Coombes

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

‘Highlight of this year’s Fringe’ (Heckler.com.au). The club has been closed for years since the ‘incident’ but you can still hear the piano echoing throughout the empty establishment. Sounds spooky, but it’s a lot of fun as we take you back to the cabaret show of yesteryear. What happened to showgirls Vicious Delicious and Scarlett Belle? With live original music from Dexy’s Pete Saunders, this is an ‘extraordinary fusion of blues, comedy and burlesque’ (Heckler.com.au). Back from sell out runs in Perth and Adelaide with rave reviews and a Fringe Commendation: Best Cabaret Show.

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