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Burlesque

No, not that one.


When you see the words ‘Burlesque’, ‘London’ and ‘stage’ together, it’s more than likely that most of you are getting overly ecstatic and on your knees praying about the hope of Christina Aguilera and Cher (mostly Cher) playing on the glittering West End™.

Unfortunately, this production doesn’t star the ladies themselves but we’re sure this brand new production of Burlesque at the Jermyn Street Theatre will tickle your fancy.

Directed by Adam Meggido. Burlesque tells the story of the Palace Theatre in America during the 1950’s. We see Burlesque dancers and entertainers living their lives during the war in Korea. The main character, Johnny Reno, played by Jon-Paul Hevey (*falls to the floor over how hot he is*) has been blacklisted as a Communist and must turn in his best friend and his double act partner or he’ll go to prison and leave his Burlesque dancer girlfriend (she’s also up the duff to add more drama) behind.

As soon as you walk into the venue, you get to feel like you’re in an old music hall theatre as there is literally five rows of audience and you’re up close with the action on stage. It’s hard not to be stunned for a few minutes over how perfect Johnny Reno’s hair is. Seriously, if you go look at his hair, it’s a work of art.

The set is a red velvet curtain (which is multifunctional and acts as the front and the back of the stage don’t ‘cha know) and when opened reveals ladies where most of the action and the drama goes on.

Victoria Serra – who plays the “look at me I’m the new girl in town and now I’m here to steal your boyfriend and limelight” character Amy Delamero – gives one of the most entertaining performances of the night from her dirty-little-ditty dressed up as Little Red Riding Hood (where at the end she whips off her bra and is stood there with nothing on but tassels) to the scene where she realises her husband (an old man named Freddie who runs the theatre) is broke and storms off in a dramatic golddigger-esque manner. You go, girl!
One of the smoothest voices in the show belongs to Jeremiah Harris–Wood who plays up and coming dancer Saul Sunday. Wood’s sexual and soulful voice is enough to melt any heart.

Everything about the show is dramatic, glitzy and camp. Sure to rival Lord Lloyd Webber at some point in his career are Adam Meggido and Roy Smiles with their witty – and at some point dirty, which is always a plus – music and lyrics, which adds even more to this glittering gem of a musical.

4/5

Until 18 December, Jermyn Street Theatre, London, details here.

Words: Hayley Holden
Photo: Rags Ryan (Chris Holland) left, and Johnny Reno (Jon-Paul Hevey) by Scott Rylander

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