Fanny Dent was a woman on a mission - to see where she fits in (if at all) into the world of burlesque. Using her own real life experiences as a platform, Dent created a one woman show that was unique in itself. Demystifying what burlesque really is about via the use of comedy, burlesque routines, and cheeky anecdotes.
Dent was no burlesque impostor, but a star in the making
In more recent times we have become used to burlesque as a form of glamour and style, whilst clothes are being removed in the form of a strip tease. However, Dent reminded us that there was more to the history of burlesque, as it was originally a form of satire in the Victorian Music Hall used to mock the upper classes. Burlesque allowed the performers to bring the level of comedy to a more base level than a standard comic would have done previously. Over time, burlesque came to be more associated with strip tease rather satire, and Dent's exploration of her own journey looked to bring burlesque back to its original roots.
Using a very simple stage set up of a changing screen, numerous quick costume changes, a hat stand, and a chair, Dent introduced us to a world in which a very insecure "geeky" plump girl ended up going to burlesque classes to enable self love to occur. The lighting was simple, but dramatic, using a mixture of shadows and simple spotlighting. Dent's sharp comic wit (which was occasionally self deprivating) was refreshingly honest and up front, with no holds barred. Her routines added a sense of freedom which is rare to see in any burlesque performer in these current times. They had an energy that was reminscent of a wild cat, and with the class of Gypsy Rose Lee, which was mesmerising to watch and a lot of fun to enjoy.
The show would have benefitted from being on a slightly higher stage so that the audience at the back would have been better able to see the dynamic floorwork within Dent's routines in more detail. Sadly, a lot of it was lost with the seating being on the same level as the stage, so we couldn't see much of what was happening.
Despite this though, The Burlesque Imposter was a hidden gem of the Brighton Fringe that took burlesque to another level. Despite what the title indicated, Dent was no burlesque impostor, but a star in the making and needed to be watched to be believed.