Spare Rib Burlesque at the Magnet
Hosted out of the basement of The Magnet on Hardman Street, The Spare Rib burlesque show on the 29th October promised a ribald night both sexy and funny. Not only did they guarantee such an evening, they delivered it in spades.
Presented as a two hour extravaganza where humour and sexuality met, the show was deeply satisfying on a number of levels, acting as a true showcase for the art of burlesque. When optimism and cynicism collide, burlesque is either a true artform or simple stripping but, here, the act was so well done that the performances became something truly special.
Throughout the evening, the audience were treated to six performers, some of whom did double duty, taking on different personas in order to engage the fans. The night began with a spirited rendition of “Time Warp” from The Rocky Horror Picture Show before launching head first into the sexually-charged acts. Highlights included Tilly Mint, who performed an act which fused Sleeping Beauty with ABBA’s “(Gimme Gimme Gimme) A Man After Midnight”, and Minxie Coquette, who dressed up as an eclectic mix of fictional characters including Wednesday Addams and X-Men‘s Magneto.
But the set’s true gem was the main event, performed by the aptly named Diva Hollywood. She assumed the character of a stereotypical ’50s housewife who, consumed by anger, shoots her partner dead as he returns home.’ This leads to her arrest and eventual hanging. The act culminates in her undressed, neck in a noose, shaking her body in rhythm with the music as she mimes death by asphyxiation. This was as impressive as it was hilarious, the cherry on top of an already delicious evening.
Not to be outshone, however, the comedy portion of the evening also impressed. The MC for the evening, Lola Rogue, brought the majority of the humour, from improvising with the crowd, to dressing up in drag as a Cockney geezer, to, even more bizarrely, performing a perfect ukulele rendition of N.W.A’s classic anti-authoritarian hit, “F*ck Tha Police”, all of which left the audience in stitches.
As expected in cuisine, before the grande finale The Spare Rib provided a refreshing palate cleanser in the form of a singer-songwriter named Joan. Instead of taking her clothes off, she treated the audience to something completely different by performing a five-song set list. It consisted of three covers and two originals, including an oddly beautiful version of Rihanna’s “Shut Up and Drive”.
Although the venue was underground, the event went above and beyond, and all the performers looked like stars. As a so-called “burlesque virgin”, I can attest to my first time being great; the wonderful performers of The Spare Rib have certainly made a convert of me. A night at their show is the epitome of value: for your money you get attractive women, wonderful comedy, and great live music. What more could you ask for from an evening out in Liverpool?
Featured photo courtesy of Art By Seraphic.