Theatre Presents A Weekend Spectacular!
The Casa, Hope Street
20th and 21st July 2013
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.
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