An evening between the sheets with Miss Polly Rae, the scintillating red-head who won ‘Best Burlesque’ at the London Cabaret Awards earlier this year? Don’t mind if I do, thank you!
“Between the Sheets, An Intimate Cabaret” has returned this summer to the London Wonderground on the South Bank. For those who live in the city, the location is a firm favourite summer evening drinks and entertainment haunt. Returning with a limited run through until the 9th of September.
This is the kind of show that brings burlesque to the cutting edge of culture. And it’s an edge that Miss Polly Rae will push, tease and stroke until you find yourself wondering when all your boundaries were crossed, and you ended up with your girlfriend in the chair beside you and a scantily clad burlesque superstar in your lap gasping as she runs her fingers through your hair. Needless to say it was quite a night for the unassuming gentleman on the end of the row from me. The lines got blurred, and it was hot, sexy, and brilliant.
Miss Polly Rae was quick to whip the crowd into shape with an education on the correct noises to vocalise our appreciation, because there is “nothing like a screaming orgasm to get a show on the road”. Not to mention she has a voice to die for, charming her explicit re-telling of the awkward and often embarrassing reality of love making into a hauntingly smooth ballad that had us in side-splitting fits of laughter, yet held us enchanted the entire way through.
From there the show thrust hard into action with the titillating foreplay of Madame De Voila and the athletic geek of Phil Ingud, who can do amazing things with a single sock. We loved the dirty comedy of Frisky Minaj and her –ahem– well defined curves, and Callum MacDonald is sensually adorable whether he’s shamelessly selling vibrators for the show’s sponsor, LELO, or being ridden like a pony.
I heard one girl next to me mutter the question, “Why does he have a shirt on?” when aerialist Stephen Williams took to the ceiling with his routine, and certainly a highlight of the evening for the screaming ladies in my row was when he finally took it off. Of course, the gravity defying routine was also stunning.
Kitty Bang Bang won the crowd over with her terrifying attraction to flame and delightfully “give-a-f*ck” facial expressions. I’m sure you can only begin to imagine the performances that accompanied tracks like Die Antwoord’s “Baby’s on fire”, and the classic “Pour some sugar on me” by Def Leppard. I’ll give you a hint –there was a giant absinthe glass involved and it was wet, very wet.
Between the Sheets gave us everything we could have wanted for a hot and romantic night in. The foreplay and the fantasy, the tease and the climax, not to forget the moments of surprising tenderness and intimacy. It is a show that keeps its finger on the pulse of the audience with not a single act that felt like a space-filler between the action. There was just the right amount of storytelling and friendship interlaced between the cast to carry the theme of frivolity and between the sheets naughtiness of Miss Polly Rae’s boudoir throughout.
It would somehow be a bedroom betrayal to tell you the dirty little details of all that happened. The secrets whispered between the sheets, and the fantasies that exploded into boundary bending reality are a delight you should be more than tempted to try for yourself. If there was anything to fault, it was only that while the show brought us to a heady climax of satisfaction, we simply just didn’t want it to end. We wanted more, more, more. When it did finish, I was left with only one, petulant question on my mind, why can’t every night end like this?
Seduce yourself into bed with Between the Sheets, An Intimate Cabaret, 9:30pm on Thursdays 30th July and 17th September or Wednesday September 9th. All tickets and enquiries through www.londonwonderground.co.uk or call the Box Office on 0844 545 8282
Article by J R Manawa