As our Grand Halloween Ball looms ever closer from the shadows of October, we're delighted to be able to share this fascinating interview with Lilly Laudanum. Winner of the World Burlesque Games 2015 British Crown, Lilly is a character actor and performer without compare. Read on to find out the inspiration behind her acts and what she loves most about the burlesque and vintage scene:
What is your main performance inspiration?
The main inspiration is historical!
History is so rich, from the costumes, the styles, the behavior and key moments that stand out. I first got interested in burlesque while volunteer working for my cousin's theatre group 'Circus Delirius' in the early 1990s.Basically, his collection of characters was burlesque - but in the classical sense of making a mockery of characters throughout history in short, heavily charicatured and mimed sketches. His Mr Punch character was downright disturbing! A Horror!
Of course I didn't know I was watching burlesques then, but (20 years!) later, having read about the origins of burlesque in Ancient Greece and through theatre, recognised the style. I am also inspired by camp, innuendo comedies (like Are You Being Served, Carry On, etc) and the genius of Monty Python, together with belly dance and horror. An "interesting" mix!
What do you love most about burlesque and cabaret?
I love that it's permission to play! You can be and do anything. Anything! And you can make the wildest costumes, in the most eye-watering colour clash combinations, with all the diamante you can throw at them. And no one would bash a false eyelash at it. Wild and wonderful is the norm. As long as you entertain the audience, of course!
What has been your most memorable performance so far?
Taking the British Crown at the World Burlesque Games 2015 - basically because it was so unexpected! I thought Lou Safire was going to win and basically told him if he didn't win I would get the winner in a headlock! That said, all shows are memorable because all shows are different - from doing my acts incorporated into the play in a theatre run in Exeter to performing in front of 2000, to Queen Victoria making a surprise appearance at someone's birthday, all are memorable! And fun!
Can you give us a retro or burlesque style tip?
You know that outfit you've had in your wardrobe and never worn because it's too dressy/too crazy/people would stare? Get it out and get it on! There is no such thing as over-dressed at a burlesque show! But don't go thinking you might turn up to the show in just your undies, as you've seen that's what the performers wear on stage... You will get cold!
And just a little something to warm you up in time for the Gothica Ball: Lilly's very own patented Ripper-obics!
lIf you want to see Lily in the flesh, then make sure you get your tickets to our Grand Halloween Ball!
40% of tickets have already sold, so be sure to get yours before it's too late!