So, I attended the grand opening of the City Burlesque venue (website was working yesterday but doesn't seem to be today). It has been the talk of the burly world recently so I wanted to go and see it fo myself.
My first concern was this website, Venus Table Dancing which is for the same venue. The morality of strip clubs and table dancing is another issue, but in my opinion can not be mixed with burlesque. They both have completely different markets. Women make up the majority of burlesque audiences, men in strip clubs.
On arrival, despite it being a free open invitation on Facebook the security were mean and challenging. Luckily my name was on the door and eventually he let me in.
There were lots of paps outside.....because yes Amy Winehouse was inside. Her dad Mitch was the headline act (!) but of course she ended up staggering onstage and joining him.
It felt like a strip club. The website is offering £10 dances before midnight. The crowd weren't a burlesque crowd.
I was chatted up by a guy who 'bragged' that he had come there by accident as he had asked a cabbie to take him to a pole dancing bar....but he was now seeing Amy Winehouse sing. He told me I was wearing a 'creative' dress while staring at my boobs.
The sound was terrible, Amy obviously hadn't sound checked (!). The drinks were overpriced, and service was poor.
I left while Amy was singing, so I didn't actually get to see any burlesque on the stage. I just found it all a little sad.
It concerns me that it is simply a strip club under another name. It worries me that friends will be associated with a strip club. It does nothing for the concept of burlesque, and I really hope I am proved wrong. Please prove me wrong City Burlesque!