The art and world of burlesque is much loved but one burlesque performer is telling the story they all live – a story of liberation, sensuality and ambition.
Elsie Diamond sets herself apart as a burlesque performer who not only succeeds performing the art she is known for but for educating us in the world in which it lives.
Through spoken word, music and burlesque numbers, Elsie Diamond recounts the story of Joanne/Winnie Sparkletits, a woman stuck in a rut who discovers freedom through the beautiful skill that is burlesque. The story is not always comic (though there is much laughter) as Elsie addresses the self awareness of those who are thought to be ‘older’ performers and the struggle finding romance when you are due to take your kit off every evening.
Elsie’s charm oozes from her as she immediately commands the attention of the audience and her voice is stunning, soaring even when singing and lying on the floor (a feat for many a performer). Her performance of Carmen with accurate pitch and style is powerful and an iconic moment in the performance as she reaches the peak of Joanne/Winnie Sparkletit’s career. Her strips use classic moves and takes them further including an ode to the removal of the glove with gloves of different shades being produced from various areas of the performer’s gown.
The story is well written and captures the burlesque club scene vividly as the words are recited to a soft beat playing in the background. The costumes are stunning and suitably opulent even when said costumes are limited to pasties and a thong.
However, the segues between numbers are a little messy as we are left just listening to the instrumental music while waiting for the costume change to happen. There are quite a few stumbles in the lines and Elsie’s confidence falters which is a shame when her confidence is so endearing.
Elsie Diamond sets herself apart as a burlesque performer who not only succeeds performing the art she is known for but for educating us in the world in which it lives. A true delight if a little rough around the edges.