If your idea of a variety show is Katherine Jenkins singing for the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, then a night with the House of Burlesque will broaden your horizons.
Hosted by master of ceremonies Joe Black (pictured right), the House of Burlesque has a revolving cast of what Joe describes as ‘scoundrels and freaks’, who he has picked for the show at the Kings Theatre, Southsea tomorrow.
When Frank Sanazi walks out looking like Hitler, the audience brace themselves for what is about to happenJoe Black
‘It might be called House of Burlesque, but it isn’t just about feathers and rhinestones. It is more of a variety act with comedy,’ says Joe.
‘With burlesque – particularly the striptease side of it – I love the hyper, big productions but also the completely ridiculous clowning. There are two sides of it, the glamour and the comedy.’
Joe recalls an act he booked for the House a few years ago – Mat Fraser, now known to millions for his role in American Horror Story: Freak Show as Paul the Illustrated Seal Boy.
‘He did this striptease wearing his medical issue fake arms and finished by taking them off. The audience didn’t know he was a victim of thalidomide – it was very unexpected. He owns that completely – he takes his disability and turns it into performance.’
In the line-up tomorrow night are acts that will also surprise the audience, including Eliza Delite, winner of the World Burlesque Games 2014, hula-hooping circus girl Chi Chi Revolver, ‘burlesque terrorist’ Fancy Chance and a Frank Sinatra tribute act with a heil of a difference.
‘When Frank Sanazi walks out looking like Hitler, the audience brace themselves for what is about to happen. I love booking acts like that, those that on first impression you might think go too far, but are just right.’
The House of Burlesque is at the Kings Theatre tomorrow night at 7.30pm. Tickets from £10.50, call (023) 9282 8282 or visit kingsportsmouth.co.uk