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City gets first burlesque academy

“Today's lesson: In out, in out and shake it all about”

Published on March 2nd 2011.

City gets first burlesque academy

LIZ Lacey, long-standing flaneur about town, has kept burlesque alive in Liverpool in the last few years.

When other people's boas would have drooped, she has staged refreshing club nights all over the place, from the Royal Court to Zelig's.

Her latest mission? To turn Liverpool into “The Capital of Cabaret 2011”.

“The appetite for burlesque and all things vintage still rages like a furnace fuelled with glitter and eyelash glue,” Liz insists.

There are already many marvellous performers and successful show nights in Liverpool and around the north-west. But never before has a city centre venue opened here with the intention of providing a central hub for performers, training and developing acts, finding and representing new talent and thrilling the audience, all combined in one luxuriously equipped venue.

Monique's, in Temple Court, off Dale Street, opens wide next month.

Liz has, perhaps fortuitously, been hired as its PR and events guru and has already got to work.

Liz Lacey

She says: “We are a woman-led,diverse organisation and of course are determined to operate in a professional manner in an industry which suffers from lack of regulation and varying quality.

“We want to offer performers a lovely friendly environment where they will be treated properly, and where it is a joy to perform.

“We are interested in forming partnerships with providers and educational establishments in Liverpool and the North West, with a view to providing work and training opportunities for young people currently on theatre, dance, and performance related courses.

“We also intend to provide training and work experience in technical support, and costume design

We intend to have performers from all corners and to offer something for most tastes.”

Monique's will be home to The Canary Cage, already successful down at the Albert Dock, which will be the first stage, literally, on which budding performers can step to hone their skills and acquire stage experience alongside established acts and in front of a friendly audience.

When they have reached the peak of performance perfection, they will graduate to the stage of Monique's, which, says Liz, “will showcase the crème de la crème in lush weekend shows for the cocktail crowd”.

The premises will house, in addition to a cocktail/champagne bar, a dance floor and a performance /cabaret stage, a dance studio where fledgling performers who fancy the idea of inventing themselves as a burl-girl or boy-lesquer, will be taught by experienced and inspiring dance tutors.

“They can also take part in taster sessions,” Liz adds. “Ideal for someone who wants to dip a manicured toe in the warm, scented waters of burlesque performing, or for those who would like to gain body confidence whilst having a real giggle.”

Monique’s will also offer make-up and hair sessions; where a girl (or boy) can be transformed into the vintage vamp, or Hollywood goddess of their choice, and then be professionally photographed in costume.

“Maybe in a giant Canary Cage, complete with swing,” she suggests, “or perhaps with a shapely leg dangling over the side of a very large Martini glass. After that, who would want to go home?“

Who indeed.

“Surely a shimmy along to a scintillating show would make it a night to remember, even without the photograph?”

At a time when the news is increasingly bleak for the city, a bit of fluff and fishnet can only be good news.

And, ahem, it is right opposite the Town Hall. Councillors.

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10 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

saladdazeFebruary 17th 2011.

Blooming heck! I think that's the girl who used to teach our kid general studies in Central College.
PS Can you make those 'enlarge' buttons a bit bigger - my eye sight is going.

monocle popsFebruary 17th 2011.

I think those buttons are enlarged enough

The Pedants are RevoltingFebruary 18th 2011.

Even the most cursory glance would reveal that the lovely Liz Lacey is no flaneur. A chappe of her ilk is generally known as a flaneuse.

saladdazeFebruary 22nd 2011.

Me mam used to wear flaneuse nighties. Or, as the bard from Old Swan has it, "you, you turned away; I turned my life around; now you're back again..."

Stage Door JohnnyFebruary 23rd 2011.

She's a Flâneuse all right...

Do have any bromide for this tea?

Princes BoulevardierFebruary 23rd 2011.

By the Lord Harry! She's an absolute corker!

Toby JuggFebruary 24th 2011.

Do the ladies get their pasties from Sayers?

Professor ChucklekeppelandbuttyFebruary 25th 2011.

Years ago, I did a few seasons at the Windmill Theatre with my dance troupe,. Lumbago. We were very daring, even for the Windmill. The only act that regularly got a standing ovation, and the odd thing was, that when the gentlemen stood up to applaud, their hats stayed on their laps.

Once the ladies went off stage I and about five other chaps, would come on to do the Foreign Legion routine. We'd pretend to be marching through the dessert to the song Boots, Boots, Boots, taking off our uniforms as it got hotter and hotter, until all we had left on was our Legionaire caps.

Then with an electric fan and a big bag of sawdust off stage, somebody would shout SANDSTORM AHEAD! And I would give the order to march bayonet fashion. Worked better on a warm night. And it got harder trying to keep up as the music went faster and faster. One night, Nicholas Parsons - well we all were- suddenly stopped and bent down to pick up a thruppeny bit. What a pile up, and with all that sawdust stuck to us as well. By Jove, that was a rough night. I don´t know what we´d have done without Dick Emery.

Anyway it was top rated act that could be due for a revival.

Ned SherrinFebruary 25th 2011.

<Throws in towel. Collects P.45>

Captain TrousercoshFebruary 25th 2011.

Perhaps the Burlesque Academy can get Government funding?

I've heard that Michael Gove likes to throw taxpayers' money at academies...

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