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“The Burlexe show has now existed in many guises since I first conceived it back in – ouch! – 2010! But at the heart of it are stories, stories of fascinating people who perform in some capacity, which we present with song and dance.

The Burlexe Show: The Inspiration

“In some way, burlesque has been maligned over the years because nobody knows or understands why people would choose it as an art form or even a career. So burlesque has never really had a voice.

“Hopefully the Burlexe show goes some way to change that as our show reveals what it really takes to get on stage and perform for an audience – and what kind of toll that can take on a person.

“Something still so relevant in the digital age we live in when so many are broadcasting their lives online.

Check out the Burlexe story.

THE Burlexe Show beginnings

“When I originally conceived Burlexe, it was an idea about showgirls – inspired by S Club 7 and Sex and the City – yes, really. I wanted to create something that could exist in both the real and digital worlds simultaneously.

“But it wasn’t until I was introduced to burlesque that things fell into place and really came alive. I discovered fascinating stories of women who’d created a world for themselves on their terms – and the sacrifices and challenges they’d needed to overcome to perform. Some stories I was – and you may be – familiar with; Josephine Baker and Gypsy Rose Lee but there were many other inspiring women whose stories had never really been told; women like Satan’s Angel and Tura Satana.

“I started researching and interviewing and created a number of stories inspired by the women I discovered or met in person.

“Burlesque icons of yesteryear had the most heartbreaking stories, yet even the performers of today were not without challenge.

“What was fascinating to me was how burlesque was a transformational medium – hence the appearance of burlesque schools and courses over the past 20 years, helping women feel great about themselves and their bodies.

“At the heart of what it does, is make vulnerability a strength and turns perceived negatives into positives. Something we can all learn from.

burlexe stories

“The Burlexe shows don’t have a narrative journey – instead taking you on an emotional journey through various art forms in a cabaret style format.

“We bring together storytelling, performance and song and so our shows are a mix of actors, burlesque dancers and singers. The stories are revealing, empowering, sad and funny and we look to mix that with similar performances that bring together a mix of performance styles; avant garde, mime, clowning and downright sexy.

“Similarly, the songs and music we have chosen do the same. Sometimes we like to play with the obvious, ‘It’s a Man’s, Man’s Man’s World’ or ‘Feeling Good’ while at other times, certain songs like ‘I’ve Got To Sing My Song’, ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ or ‘Dancing in the Dark’ take on a new meaning when they are seen through a burlesque filter.

boylexe and This is burlexe

“Even when we’ve played with the genre, as with Boylexe or This Is Burlexe, the format still remains the same; stories, song and performance – though, how you, the audience are left feeling varies.

“However, we present it, the show is like a scrapbook that hopefully gives you an insight into this fascinating art form and what it really takes to be a performer in this world.”

Image of Fancy Chance by John Bland at OEM Films

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Burlexe and Jo King from London Academy of Burlesque

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