Burjesta Theatre Presents A Weekend Spectacular!

The Casa, Hope Street
20th and 21st July 2013

Reviewed by jjSchaer

Last Saturday I headed down to The Casa on Hope Street to watch the Burjesta Theatre’s latest production. Billed as a night of burlesque, live music and a new play from the Liverpool based theatre troupe.

The bulk of the night was taken up by the Burjesta’s piece ‘The Belly of Merrie England A.D. 2013’. A series of mad sketches that saw the Burjesta Clowns arriving in England and experiencing the troubles facing people in contemporary British society. The first half dealing with the plights of the working classes: filled with bits on NHS reform, food banks and shop lifting. Whilst the second half favoured a more middle class bent: Glasto, Thatcher’s funeral, views on immigration and a distinctly C of E sketch. Plus there were some bits with homeless people taking magic mushies.

The other acts were spliced into the play throughout the night. Minnie Melons and Kitty Kimono performed a couple of tantalising burlesque routines at the opening of each half. Whilst Vanessa Booth belted out some musical numbers without the aid of a microphone. The night drawing to a close with local folk singer Alun Parry performing a number of Woody Guthrie songs and giving some background on the great man.

Towards the end of the first half the Brazilica Carnival made its way down Hope Street, samba drumming oddly interrupting a sketch about an alcoholic woman having her belongings repossessed in the wake of her husband’s suicide. Unfortunate for the performers, but I did get the chance to watch an army of drummers and scantily clad women dancing through the streets at the intermission.

The night was like something planned by David Lynch, experimental theatre pieces intercut with old-school music and dancing women seemingly from another time. But it was at times disjointed, watching a semi naked woman flaunting around with some feathers and then seeing a sketch about a man being ejected from a hospital then becoming homeless was a huge shift in tone – particularly for a Saturday night out in town. This was reflected by the increasingly restless and wandering crowd.

It was an odd and enjoyable night, if a little all over the place, the burlesque artists got the crowd going and Parry’s set at the end was excellent. Whilst at times the Burjesta’s performances came off as amateurish, they did attempt to tackle a number of hard hitting subjects in a unique and comedic way.

For more on the Burjesta Theatre - burjesta-theatre.co.uk

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