House of Ivory - Interview

Ever wondered where Burlesque performers find their costumes? Most make them or customise pieces with crystals and fringing. We do! But we also, for group numbers have a fabulous costume designer in the form of House of Ivory

The fabulous Rob Ivory made both the opening and closing costumes for this years London Wonderground shows, and our resident Banged Up. We couldn’t NOT let you meet him!

How did you begin in costume design?

The truth is I sort of fell into it.
As a teenager, I attended secondary school on a music scholarship and had been performing for years before that (but those days are a little hazy now). I was always involved in performance in one way or another, be it actually performing or as backstage. By the time I finished GCSEs I knew the school could not provide me with the tools I needed anymore.
My direction had changed. I applied last minute to a local college to do a diploma in pattern cutting for fashion. During my time there I was constantly told my ideas were very ‘costume’. I didn’t really understand what they were talking about as I always got inspiration from the haute couture fashion, and my ideas were tame in comparison. After finishing there I applied for university. I didn’t get in and so I went for work experience as a visual merchandiser at Harrods. Shortly after, I was offered a two week placement with fashion designer Zandra Rhodes. I was assisting the chief designer Ben Scholten with the SS 2010 collection. Well, 5 months later and after a trip to meet the buyers in Milan I was given a place at London College of Fashion to study pattern cutting and left with a high 2:1. Later, I went back to Zandra Rhodes as her Personal Assistant and gained the confidence to go it alone and start up the House of Ivory.

Where did you Meet Tempest Rose & The House of Burlesque?

I met tempest at the House of Burlesque’s monthly show ‘Burlesque Idol’. I went to the show nearly every month for about a year and a half before I got the courage to talk to her. I was very new on the scene and wasn’t sure how to approach her, or anyone for that matter. I was there as a guest of the MC of this event (Barnaby Slater) and eventually asked him to introduce me to Tempest. After that first conversation I had a good feeling that we would have a good relationship in the future and here I am now. I’ve been working with Tempest for just over a year, making several ‘one off’ costumes just for her, along with items for two of her shows.

What are your Costume Inspirations?

My inspirations come from lots of places, usually based around my mood and the music I listen to while in that moment. I do however look to the performers for my inspiration. If it is fashion or costume, I have always felt that the outfit should sit comfortably on the client/model/performer and match their personality or support the character they are trying to convey. Although I will still look for references from the past, there are stimuli everywhere today that catalyse invention.

                                    
What is it like to see your work on stage?

There is always an element of shock when I see performers wearing my clothes on stage. I think when you handle something for a long period of time it can loses some of its ‘sparkle’. Then when a performer brings it to life, there is always a sudden realisation that it was me who created the outfit, which is now seen in a new light. I have always found that mental and emotional disconnect-reconnect very interesting. 

Do you have a favourite piece you have ever created?

I am proud of many of my items.  It’s hard to choose a favourite as what I’m working on now is always my focus. If I had to choose the outfit I am most proud of for overall effect it would have to be the cage skirt and jacket that Tempest is currently wearing for London Wonderground. It is one of the pieces from my first collection that I showed late last year. Working out how to structure and balance it was really enjoyable and actually quite mathematical. Architecture has always pleased me visually and this was a good marriage between two of my passions.


What do you think makes a good Burlesque Costume?

It is hard to define what makes a good burlesque costume. I’m interested in more than just the superficial; I love working out how the costume works for the performer and the technical issues therein. Even the simple addition of a ribbon on a zip to enable the wearer(performer) to take it off more easily pleases me. I am also interested in the layering and interchange of costumes and the different effects their versatility allow.

You can catch Rob’s designs in action on our last London Wonderground show this Thursday 25th September or at BANGED UP! on the second Friday of every month at Madame JoJo’s

HOUSE OF BURLESQUE SPEAKEASY RETURNS!

After a fabulous sell out run of our Summer Speakeasy WE ARE BACK!

This Saturday sees the launch of our Saturday night Speakeasy! Don your feathers, your corsets and stockings and come to join Soho’s best kept secret.

We will have our early Saturday residency every Saturday! Show Starts 6:30-8pm. There is even a package option of your show with a Burlesque class before hand with one of our top performers!

More info and booking here…

I had the great pleasure  of performing for the ‘Lates’ at The Courtauld Gallery at Somerset House inspired by the Belle Epoque. Dancing in front of such famous and inspiring paintings was such an honour - thank you to The Courtauld for having me! Here are some shots from the event by Benedict Johnson Photography

Only 3 more shows are available to book to see HOB at London Wonderground. Here are some fantastic snaps by Derek Bremner to give you a little taster - tickets are available here www.bit.ly/HoBwonder.

What the press say

'A deliciously decadent night that dazzles and delights all who attend'

 *****The Gay UK

'If you like steamy sensuality and tongue-in-cheek sass, you'll feel at home in this house'

thisiscabaret.com

'A highly skilled piece of theatrical cabaret and - as the raucous reaction of this crowd attests - rip-roaring fun'

 ****The Stage

'There are not enough stars to describe just how brilliant it is, so go see it for yourself'

A Younger Theatre

'I implore you. Nay, I beseech you, if you’re torn between heading to a multiplex cinema to watch the latest shoot-em up or making that little extra effort to head south of the river, do it. The House of Burlesque are sure to give you a tantalising evening of sauciness and seduction'

 *****WestEndWilma

Meet HOB's Man of the Moment...Esquire de Lune

After our first outing at the London Wonderground we cannot WAIT to get back on the stage. If you missed the show, you should know that a new BOYLESQUE star was born!! We just had to give you a little more of the man of the moment…

Ladies and Gentlemen, please meet - ESQUIRE DE LUNE!

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Esquire, Tell us a little bit about your career thus far?

For the past 18 years I have been a professional commercial dancer specialising mainly in TV, pop tours, movies, hair shows, fashion shows, music videos etc. I have been fortunate enough to tour and perform with the likes of Robbie Williams and Take That, Girls Aloud, Shirley Bassey, Seal, Whitney Houston, Kylie and Tom Jones to name a few fabulous names. TV credits have included Xfactor, The Voice, BGT, Dancing on Ice and Strictly Come Dancing.

What has drawn you to the world of Burlesque?

I was drawn in to burlesque on an absolute whim, still to this day I don’t know what possessed me! I had met the lovely Tempest Rose a few times through the gorgeous Delores Deluxe and we were friends on Facebook, I saw her post about Boylesque Idol and decided for some strange reason that I’d enter. I’d never thought about it before so not sure what possessed me. I’m really glad I did though as I won the competition and here I am!!! Looking back I think initially it was more of a way to unleash some creativity and create some sexy, dark and mysterious numbers and characters……….and perhaps a little bit because I like to take my clothes off!!!

How did you construct your Boylesque Persona? 

Actually before Esquire de Lune came about I had entered myself in Boylesque Idol as “Bambam le Bang” but when I started creating and conceptualising all my new numbers I just didn’t feel the name was appropriate. Bambam le Bang sounded very traditional, tongue-in-cheek burlesque but what I was creating was more a dark, atmospheric, dramatic kind of neo-burlesque style. I thought on it for a day and came up with Esquire de Lune. I then dug out a picture from a shoot I did a few years back that I thought summed up the character well, slapped a moon behind it and an Esquire de Lune name ribbon on the front and Bob’s your uncle!! 

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How would you describe your performance style?

My performance style as mentioned before is what I’ve learnt to be as neo-burlesque which is a more modern take on burlesque. Obviously coming from a dance back ground my performance is very dance based. I think you should always play to your strengths. 

Having come from an alternate performance world, what advice would you give to any budding performers?

That’s a good question actually because what I learnt “very”quickly was no matter how accomplished a dancer I was or how much stage time I already had under my belt, burlesque is a totally different way of performing, I felt like I was starting all over again! Performing alone on stage is very nerve-wracking let alone when your taking your clothes off, I’ve learnt you really have to play to the audience ‘cause no matter how good you are, if you’re not involving them it just doesn’t work! You also have to exude sooo much confidence even if you aren’t  particularly feeling it that day without coming across arrogant or cocky!

You can see Esquire de Lune in some of our upcoming Summer Speakeasy’s, Saturday’s at Madame JoJo’s You can also catch him and the rest of the fabulous cast in our full run at the LONDON WONDERGROUND This Summer… EVERY THURSDAY THROUGHOUT AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER! DON’T MISS US!

4 STAR REVIEW FOR HOB AT WONDERGROUND FROM THE STAGE!!

Check out our fabulous review from The Stage newspaper from our opening night here. “ This is empowering entertainment by women who own our eyeballing, rather than becoming objectified by it. It’s also a highly skilled piece of theatrical cabaret and - as the raucous reaction of this crowd attests - rip-roaring fun.” 

Tickets for our run are available here: https://www.londonwonderground.co.uk/node/1118792

Summer Speakeasy - Miss Dolly Rose

Coming up in June, is our 5 week summer season of Summer Speakeasy Shows at Madame JoJo’s in Soho.

The Summer Speakeasy is a limited 5 week run. There is the option of a show and burlesque class package which is the PERFECT option if you’re celebrating a Hen Party or Birthday!

Miss Dolly Rose is a London based Burlesque performer and teacher and a regular House of Burlesque performer and teacher. She will be the one putting you through your pre show class and introducing you to the world of Burlesque.

So what better reason to meet the lady herself…

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What is your Performance Style?

I’d say I’m a classic burlesque performer, but with my own style; I do a lot of vintage dance styles outside of burlesque, so I’m very influenced by the authentic music and dancing of the 1920s to 1940s. I’m also never happier than when designing or making new costumes ,and draw my costuming inspiration from this period too.

When did you begin teaching with The House of Burlesque?

I began teaching with The House of Burlesque last year; I’ve really enjoyed the experience of teaching, from planning and creating classes to watching people have fun and gain confidence. I like to make classes as friendly and fun as possible.

Do you have a teaching style?

I try and make my classes fun but useful, full of tips and tricks. I llke my classes to be useful for people learning Burlesque for fun and to try something new, or for people interested in performing

What piece of advice would you give to someone wanting to learn Burlesque?

Try to learn as much as possible from different sources, its great to go to Burlesque classes, but try other dance styles like ballet too; also go to as many shows as possible, you can learn so much from watching others perform.

What aspect of Burlesque do you most enjoy teaching?

I love choreographing routines, so I always like creating routines to do in class; I always enjoy teaching tassel twirling on our beginners courses, as it’s great to see people going from feeling self conscious to feeling really confident, which is always really fun and rewarding.

Do you think a Class is a good Hen Party Idea?

Yes! definitely, its really enjoyable but also great for feeling confident, not to mention learning such practical life skills as posing and tasseling!

Thanks Dolly!

Sounds good!? Then come along to join us! The House of Burlesque Summer Speakeasy is the perfect warm up to your sizzeling Soho night.

And have a pair of tassles on us for the lady or man(?) of the hour if you are celebrating something special!

COME AND JOIN SOHO’S MOST GLAMOROUS SECRET THIS JUNE - CLICK FOR MORE INFO AND BOOKING

 

Banged Up - Prison Profile Tempest Rose

AND FINALLY, its time to hear from The keeper of the keys, the countess of the clink - The mistress of Cell Block HOB

Miss Tempest Rose

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What is your Job within Cell Block HOB?

Aside from Head Bitch? I deal with the Commissary Deliveries

What is the one Item you can’t live without?

In here? Sanitary Towels. They double up as great bathroom slippers

Why have you been Banged up?

Bank Heist

What is your most dangerous Feature?

My Razor Sharp Stilettos

Are you Guilty or Not Guilty?

Not Guilty. Its a case of mistaken identity. But they had it coming…

 Picture by The Urban Snapper

BANGED UP CAN BE SEEN ON THE SECOND FRIDAY OF EVERY MONTH AT MADAME JOJO’S - GET YOUR TICKETS NOW FOR TONIGHT AT CELL BLOCK HOB

Banged Up Prison Profile - Gracie Disgrace

The penultimate inmate to give evidence before returning to her cell tonight in is…

Gracie Disgrace

Why are you Banged up?

Stalking and indecent exposure. I mean can’t a girl sneak into a guys house in the middle of the night in the nude to cook a lovely rabbit strew anymore? Maybe cooking his pet rabbit was where I went wrong?

What is your role in Cellblock HOB?

I’m the prison cleaner, my cell mates are filthy.

What is the one item you can’t be without?

My feather duster, it comes in handy removing the cobwebs. Makes a fashionable showgirl headdress and comes in very useful tickling a prison guard or two to get what I want.

What is your most dangerous feature?

My biceps, I’m the undefeated cellblock HOB arm wrestling champion.

Are you guilty?

Not guilty just misunderstood.

Photo by Oli Sandler

Gracie can be seen along with the remainder of the cast TONIGHT at Madame JoJo’s for HOB Banged up!
This is your last chance to buy your tickets - Here

Banged Up Prison Profile - THE Diablo Daniels

The Diablo Daniels, 

One of our Newest inmates… We know your crime, do you have anything to say in your defence?

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Why are you Banged up?

For righting the wrongs  of oppression on women from the patriarchy, and having the balls (ovaries) to take matters into my own hands (or vagina)

What is your role in Cellblock HOB? 

*RAPS* I be that rockabilly rachet/ with a nasty habit /I chop cocks off with a passion/ Goddamn it.
 
What is the one item you can’t be without? 
Red lipstick. Easy for marking your prey.
 
What is your most dangerous feature?
My fuck the world mentality? No. My thug life past? Probably not. Nah, its definitely gotta be all the teeth up in my vagina. VAGINA DENTATA BITCHES!
 
Are you guilty?
Absol-fucking-lutely.
 

Picture by Oli Sandler

You have 3 days until all inmates are back in Cellblock HOB, Catch them this Friday Madame JoJo’s  - For Booking Click HERE!

Banged Up Prison Profile - Leonie Soprano

Leonie Soprano

You have requested we add to your Admissions Statement, what do you have to say for yourself?

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What is your Job within Cell Block HOB?

I’m the Chef… You mess with my kitchen? You mess with ME!

What is the one Item you can’t live without?

A good Haddock!

Why have you been Banged Up?

I killed another chef in Paris during my training. To be honest, he hacked me off. So I hacked him.

What is your most dangerous feature?

The twins as I like to call them. I definitely am the boobs of the cell.

Picture by The Urban Snapper

The Next Banged up Show is Friday 11th April at Madame JoJo’s - Buy Your tickets HERE!

Banged Up Prison Profile - Storm Hooper

Storm Hooper…

You have the right to remain silent. You do not have to say anything, but it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something which you may later rely on in court….

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Why are you Banged up?

They say my rich husband died because of me. They’re all claimin’ i’m a Gold Digger!

What’s the one Item you can’t live without?

My Hula Hoops. Practicing passes the long days in the cell

What’s Your Most Dangerous Feature?

My hips. All those hoops man, its a tough life..

Are you Guilty or Not Guilty?

NOT GUILTY. It was all an accident. I promise. I just have always had really bad luck with men.

Picture by The Urban Snapper

Next months Banged Up is fast approaching - Don’t miss out! Buy your tickets HERE!

Banged Up - Prison Profile Lolo Brow

Banged Up is our brand new show. On the Second Friday of every month at Madame JoJo’s 

We have been given access to each of the CellblockHOB inmates Pre-Sentence Report to give some insight into their crimes.

So… Who is Guilty?  First up to the Stand. Lolo Brow.

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Lolo, Why are you Banged up?

Mostly for my complete and utter disregard for anything sane.

And apparently its completely unacceptable to eat a pigeon raw in a children’s playground. 

What is your most dangerous feature?

My Killer Arse. It has been known to suffocate on occassion.

What is the one item you can’t live without?

My Little Rooster alarm clock vibrator… Don’t ask

Finally Lolo Brow - Are you Guilty or Not Guilty?

Oh ever so guilty… very proud to be.

Picture by The Urban Snapper

Tickets available HERE

Kiss me Deadly and House of Burlesque - Catwalk and Cabaret

Coming up on 2nd May….

The House of Burlesque at The Tabernacle Theatre.

We are teaming up with the fabulous Kiss Me Deadly for their newest collection catwalk.

Kiss Me Deadly like to do things a little differently, and this catwalk show is no different. This one won’t feature your average model. Instead, modelling the collection will be Kiss Me Deadly fans!! The House of Burlesque will also be performing in this Beautiful theatrical space, as usual presenting the best of the Burlesque and Cabaret world. We have classic burlesque beauties, alternative diva’s and even some boylesque!

This is an event we at The House of Burlesque are extremely excited about, And we would LOVE for you to come to join us.

Tickets can be purchased here! 

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