Secret Burlesque Society

My evening at the Secret Burlesque Society at Proud Cabaret was an enjoyable one. Having previously attended Kabaret Exposé at the same venue, I had some expectations, but this show brought its own unique flair.

For those deliberating between the two events, both offer similar experiences with subtle differences in acts and costumes. In Secret Burlesque Society, performers maintain a slightly more modest approach, donning pasties and avoiding sploshing. Despite its billing as a burlesque show, the evening felt more like a cabaret, featuring a diverse array of performances including fire breathing, aerial silks, magic, and traditional burlesque.

The fire dancing and breathing were particularly impressive, with one performer exhaling fumes to ignite flames, including a memorable moment of blowing fire from his nose. The traditional burlesque routines, complete with feather boas and teasing corsets, were executed well, though I felt the addition of a more comedic dance routine would have added further variety.

One of the evening's most exciting moments was when a performer incorporated fire into the traditional burlesque routine by igniting nipple tassels then spinning them. The mesmerising display captivated the audience, blending danger with allure to create a spectacle that everyone will remember.

The compere's encouragement of audience participation, including the instruction to respond with 'yes Mistress', added an extra layer of kink to the night. However, the venue's layout presented challenges, with pillars and different levels obstructing views and seating arrangements sometimes making table service difficult.

Convenience is key at Proud Cabaret, where a cloakroom is provided for guests. While I touched upon table service earlier, it's worth noting that while food is available, the focus seems to be more on enjoying the show with the option of dining rather than making it a full meal experience. The wide selection of drinks and cocktails adds to the evening's charm, with the compere enthusiastically encouraging guests to indulge. Whether you come for the show and enjoy a few bites or opt for a complete dining experience, the array of drinks ensures there's something to suit every taste.

An entertaining highlight was during the interval when a performer circulated wearing balloons that guests could pop, potentially winning a drink at the bar. While enjoyable, a similar act later in the show felt repetitive, detracting slightly from the overall experience.

Secret Burlesque Society is the perfect amount of naughty, welcoming newcomers to the world of burlesque while offering enough novelty to engage seasoned enthusiasts. With its mix of traditional and contemporary acts, it promises a night of titillation and entertainment for all.

This show was reviewed on the 27th March at Proud Cabaret, London and is booking into 2025.  Tickets available here: SECRET BURLESQUE SOCIETY AT PROUD CITY - Proud Cabaret

Review written by Valentine Gale-Sides

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Photo credit: Valentine Gale-Sides

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