Monday, 15 October 2018

REVIEW: Burlesque'd at The Aeronaut

The are many talented singers and dancers in the West End musical choruses hoping to get the big break to go centre stage in the follow spot as the star of the show and Ashley Luke Lloyd has created, choreographed, directed and produced this new show at the 170 seat Aeronaut pub theatre to showcase some of them. The story follows Crystal Lake who leaves her job at Dick's diner in Mississippi to pursue a career in Hollywood but finds her self as a waitress on a commission only basis in a old night club, the Sunset lounge, opposite the Waldorf Hotel in sight of the Hollywood sign. Does she get the break she seeks and save the club? You will have to see the show to find out.

The show features an energetic sexy group of nine Showgirls, who look like they have come straight from Chicago and belt out a succession of well known tunes with lively choreography. There is not much Burlesque in the show neither as a show creating laughter by caricaturing the manner or spirit of serious works nor in the sense of bawdy comedy striptease but it does put the show in showgirl. Chess (Emily Shuck) is the lead dancer who drinks too much Tequila and gives us "Diamonds are a girls best friend". Isabella is the club owners daughter ( Brooke Havana Bailey) and sings "Tainted Love". But it is Crystal (Charlotte Jeffery) who grabs the attention from the start with "Something got a hold on me" as she leaves her cafe job and leads a very well drilled finale with the girls.

The show also features aerialists Valentina Candadini (who also plays Sofia the club owner and co produces) and James Paton (the club Emcee) in the big number of "Fever" in Act 1 and together they create the highlight of the show as they both perform on the long red silks at the end of the Act in an excellent display of strength and artistry. The show also features some pole dancing but it is generally lost upstage behind the dancers or singers. 

The circus setting of the Little Big Top room at the Aeronaut is a perfect setting for this mixture of circus, musical and showgirls and the full house gave the show a rousing reception. It is a fun and entertaining show and although the story is familiar and slight, it links the routines well and provides a good intimate showcase of the cast. 

Review by Nick Wayne 

Rating: ★★★

Seat: Bench in central section | Price of ticket: £15
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