Burlesque loves its staples. Don’t get me wrong, The Hurly Burly Show does some things differently; however, the medium’s fundamentals remain intact: cheesy horns: check, nipple tassels: check, fan dances: check and semi-naked women; that deserves a rather large check thanks to the six Hurley Burley Girlies.

It is not these familiar features that make the show, but instead a combination of fresh takes, some excellently executed humour and some blinding choreography. Our host for the evening is the fabulous Coco Dubois; she manages to whip the audience into a frenzy with her pun dripping patter without even taking her clothes off. Caroline Amer’s American comedy also manages to win over the audience despite the cavernous, if sumptuously decorated, theatre space. This humour often raises its head in the show itself and jokes, through the medium of stripping of course, are made at the expense of everyone from Britney Spears to Freddie Mercury. The choreography also has amazing moments: there are two incredibly professional dance routines that wouldn’t go amiss in a modern dance show if it wasn’t for the removal of clothing.

However, The Hurly Burly Show was not free of blemishes. It is a shame when watching a revue style show to see as many misses as hits. Although some of the choreography was as tight as the Girlies’ corsets, a lot was tired, flabby and desperately needed to be whipped into submission. Many of the sections also demonstrated fatigue in their references; personally, I’ve never found nuns sexy but even I know that trope is as dull as a sermon. Plus, I could not help but feel a pang of disappointment when those same old fans came out. These repetitive moments detract attention from the show’s inventiveness and make the flow choppy. It also does not help that that Hurly Burly’s star and founder, Miss Polly Rae, does not hold the stage nearly as well as Dubois or Amer.

The Hurly Burly Show is not bad burlesque by any means; the Hurly Burly Girlies show plenty of spunk, calibre for performance and pretty much everything else. However, the show’s lack of consistency turns it from brilliant to boring. This one is a little like an unkempt lady-garden, which I can assure you none of these performers had; it could benefit from a little trimming.

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

The Blurb

The Hurly Burly girlys are back in town with a bigger, bolder, sexier new show for a summer season of deliciously bawdy fun! Starring Miss Polly Rae, The Hurly Burly Show is an all-singing, all-dancing revue with a contemporary twist.

Most Popular See More

The Mousetrap

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Matilda the Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Grease the Musical

From £20.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Dear Evan Hansen

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Play That Goes Wrong

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £12.00

More Info

Find Tickets