Save Rubyyy Jones: SHOWGRRRL
“Is burlesque feminist?”
Royal Vauxhall Tavern, London
May 18th, 2016

It’s raining lions and tigers and coyotes and wolverines outside the RVT tonight. Quite frankly it’s a humdinger, but it’s doing the flowers a world of good. In days gone past I would have stood in the rain chain smoking Marlboro Lights or Golden Virginia with a copy of Dirty Boyz as a rain cover…

Thankfully I quit smoking three years ago. Filthy habit.

Anyway…

ZOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM like a lightning bolt of love from the ether appears Rubyyy 3 Ys Jones!

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM like a jet fighter she’s on stage big and bad and adoringly indulging!

‘Hey, everyone!…”

And with that Rubyyy’s off…riffing through the chaos and mayhem of her loved up anarcho sex funk.

“YOU’RE SO WELCOME…”

“…DON’T I LOOK GORGEOUS!”

“DON’T I LOOK GORGEOUS…DON’T I LOOK GORGEOUS!!!!

“CHEER FOR ME!”

“COME ON!”

“I’M A BIG FAT FABULOUS…QUEER CANADIAN!”

“YOU’RE F****** WELCOME!”

And CUT!

WHOOP!!!! WHOOP!!! WHOOP!!

Rumble, rumble, ROAAAAAAAARRRRR!!!!”

Total crowd enthusiasm and appreciation.

LOVE. LOVE. LOVE.
LOVEGRRRL. SHOWGRRRL. RIOTGRRRL.
KABOOM!

Simmering down in order to catch her breath, Rubyyy introduces the show…talking about SHOWGRRRL, Burlesque, feminism…

“Is burlesque feminist?”

“Burlesque is feminist, but…”

The answer is open and up to the audience. We better have a think about this one. As with a lot of things at the RVT, the bar is a classroom, the classroom a love room, and the love room a place of freedom and thought to explore and enjoy.

But before we can go any further into the labyrinths of our own body, mind and opinion…

“Everyone on the left say TRIXI!’
“Everyone on the right say TASSEL!”
<“TRIXI!”
>“TASSELS!”
<“TRIXI!”
>“TASSELS!”
<“TRIXI!”
>“TASSELS!”
“TRIXI TASSELS!!!!!!!!”

Reggae bass lines rumble into life and a gorgeous lady sweeps gently onto the stage.

Pulling signs from a holder Trixi Tassels reveals…

[FEMALE NIPPLES = DANGEROUS]

A few dances moves later…

[MALE NIPPLES = OKAY]

A couple more delicate twists and turns and little bit of nudity…

[MY NIPPLES = DEFINITELY A HAZARD]

WOOOHOOO!!!

It’s that ROAAAAAAAARR from the crowd again…

Reggae and burlesque…now that I like. Actually better make that LOVE! What a funny and fine performance.

Stage. Enter. Rubyyy. What’s next?

YYYs (quoting Judith Stein):

“Feminism wasn’t about burning your bra and not shaving your legs, it was shaving your legs, working in a bar as a sex object, but knowing that you were.”

Which leads beautifully into…

“The Naked Stand Up!”

The Naked Stand Up aka Glory Pearl wanders naked onto the stage looking fantastic in a very fine vintage hat. Pearl’s performance (or should that be chat) is about self acceptance and body acceptance, and a few other things. Pearl’s smooth chocolatey voice is very cool – you could listen to it for days and weeks and years and months.

Glory Pearl talks about ‘Real women.’

And ‘Surreal women.

“Square breasts and a badger on my head!”

And then suddenly out of nowhere, somewhere, I have no idea where (she’s naked), Pearl brings out what looks like an Aerobie Frisbee – this is the sphere of shame in honour of the daft little circle that magazines (not us!!!!) use to ring a celebrity’s sweat patches, crow’s feet or cellulite. Pearl tells us to ring our worst part.

Which we all do.

THEN…

In an instant antidote to the fake tans and crack waxes, Pearl asks us to use the same ring to circle our best parts…mind, heart, soul, personality etc.

CHEERS all round from the crowd.

It’s that LOVE again.

LOVE like YYY bounding back onto the stage after Pearl’s departure and shouting…

“Hey XXXXXX from XXXXXXX!!!!!” to a group of friends who just walked in…

But before the girls have even gathered their drinks and sat down for the show…

“Everyone on the left say KHESKI!”
“Everyone on the right say KOBLER!”
<“KHESKI!”
>“KOBLER!”
<“KHESKI!”
>“KOBLER!”
<“KHESKI!”
>“KOBLER!”
“KHESKI KOBLER!”

Kheski Kobler bounces onto the stage looking every inch a perfect tear sheet from a 1970s magazine cover…white bra, white underwear, and a hamper filled with strawberries. Except this magazine cover is completely different…Kheski picks at the strawberries, teases them, tongues them, throws them into the audience, the front row, whoever, wherever, before starting to shove them down the insides of her bra and panties until everything begins to run red!

Have that macho, stereotypical sexism!

WHOOOOOOHOOOOO!!!! WHOOOOOOHOOOOO!!!

And. Into. The.

INTERVAL

BADA-BOOM!

While the strawberries are cleaned from the stage, people duck out into the rain for a cigarette, others order drinks and play around with their partners. All in all it’s a fun and relaxed evening. Just another Wednesday night in the capital. London in spring. What a f****** cool time of year.

And. So. Onto.

PART NUMBER TWO…

“Get ready for some decadent, dark, acts,” says Rubyyy, by way of an introduction.

And…then…what…do…we…have…here…

The stage goes dark, a table and mirror are sitting idly awaiting their star.

Ragina wanders in through the out door…black hair, black dress, black bra, a dark and devious picture…Marilyn Monroe meets Liz Taylor meets Morticia Addams. Beautiful.

Slowly the notes of Is That All There Is by Peggy Lee float into the air as Ragina mimes along to the words…

“I remember as a little girl our house caught on fire…I’ll never forget the look on my father’s face as he gathered me up in his arms…And when it was all over I said to myself, “Is that all there is to a fire?”

“Is that all there is…Is that all there is…if that’s all there is my friends then let’s keep dancing…let’s break out the booze and have a ball…if that’s all there is…”

It’s a wonderful act – it has the feeling of a faded beauty queen or movie star singing within the darkest corners of their mind. It’s the type of broody performance that appears in a dream, or even the kind of nightmare you enjoy. The kind that gets you out of bed at 4am in the morning but for some reason cunningly sets you up for a wickedly devious mood for the day.

“Is that all there is…”

And with that, Ragina’s glorious performance comes to an end.

WHOOP!!!! WHOOP!!! WHOOP!!
Thunderous applause from all over the room.

Now that was sultry.

What elegance.

And. Back. To. Rubyyy.

“Feminism is not all the same” says YYY. “…it’s important to educate.”

The dude abides. And what was it that we said about the RVT class room/love room/freedom of thought and enjoyment room?

“Is burlesque feminist?”

“Burlesque is feminist, but…”

It’s a smart place the RVT. Intelligence is sexy.

Next up…

A GIANT GOLD TOILET!

SAY WHAT?

A GIANT GOLD TOILET!

OH WOW!

“I’ve been wanting to book this person for such a long time,” says YYY. “And she sent me a four page dissertation on her act, cross references, the works…I’m so glad she’s performing tonight…DORIS LA TRINE!

WHISTLES and WHOOOOOOHOOOOS!!! SCREEEEEEEEEEEEECHES!!! from the crowd.

Doris steps onto the stage in a hooded gold catsuit, big sweeping wings, and a pig’s face mask. Yup. A pig’s face mask. Like something out of Terry Gilliam’s Brazil.

This is an abstract piece of storytelling about a woman’s love for her toilet (there’s more to it than that of course, but we’re writing about the action.)

Doris EXPLORES her relationship with her toilet ‘Samson’…I say EXPLORES because it certainly was exploration…slipping and sliding in and out of the toilet, tongue wagging around, head through the hoop, hand standing upside down…it’s quite an involved act in which…

In almost perfect timing one of the barmen wanders in through the door just as Doris is vomiting upside down. Ha ha! Sometimes it’s the little things in life.

Perfection.

And so…Doris begins to strip and strip and strip until…

Naked, Doris wanders through the audience while the crowd WHOOPS, HOLLAS, HEY-HEYS and YEAH-YEAHS in support.

And out from this madness steps Rubyyy…a little taken back, a little teary eyed…she’s enjoyed this performance. And so have we.

It’s at this point in SHOWGRRRL that I feel like I’m walking along a marvellous cabaret tightrope stretched between two very tall and spiky buildings. And then I’m joined on the tightrope by a fellow adventurer coming from the other direction with all manner of mayhem to throw in my way…

RUBYYY
YYYUP.
Back on the stage.
Performing…

FRIDAAA…
While wearing a jumpsuit with a leather hat…

FRIDAAA…
While performing naked…

FRIDAAA…
While performing naked stretched out on a chair…

FRIDAAA!!!

KABOOM!!!

INTERVAL time again.

Tick, tick, tick, tock…the Alice in Wonderland White Rabbit has run.

Run, Rabbit run…

Dig that hole…the work is done…

And into the final part of SHOWGRRRL…

…hurtling we go with the very gorgeous and thunderous Tuesday Laveau…who walks onto the stage with a teddy bear’s head covering her own.
Surrealism.
Love it.
Wunderbar.
Ich wohne in surrealist strasse.
A beautiful woman in a teddy bear head giving it the slide n grind. A tape X on the left nipple. A tape X on the right nipple. Total B-Movie music to go with the performance.

Uber (not the cab company) fantastic.

Following on from the David Lynch delirium we have…

“Everyone on the left say DIS!”
“Everyone on the right say CHARGE!”
<“DIS!”
>“CHARGE!”
<“DIS!”
>“CHARGE!”
<“DIS!”
>“CHARGE!”
“DIS CHARGE!”

Sia’s Alive spirits out of the speakers before detonating into a full on canter…Dis Charge begins to twist and turn into a beautiful mad ballet. With the song and dance moves, this performance is one epic little motherf*cker…body pyrotechnics would be a good way to describe it. It’s explosive and quick and filled with electricity.

“I’M ALIVE! I’M ALIVE!”

“I’M ALIVE!”

Dis Charge dances off the stage and into the crowd, half naked, 100% determined, a million percent victorious.

WHOOP!!!! WHOOP!!! WHOOP!!

HOLLA HOLLA HOLLA!!!

WHOOOOOOHOOOO!!!

And with that…

KABOOM!

LOVE GRRRL. RIOT GRRRL. SHOWGRRRL.

“I’VE BEEN RUBYYY 3 Ys JONES…YOU’RE WELCOME!”

Fin

XX

P.S. I briefly spoke to a lady in purple whose name began with an M…you asked if I was writing about the show and I said I was. So here you go…you can read it now. Or maybe you’ve read it and thought…’what crap!

Anyway, I have to say it was an excellent night of performance. A well thought out selection of acts and again, some seriously talented people putting their visions out into the public. At the moment we have a four hour round trip to get to the RVT and back so thank you Rubyyy.

We interviewed Rubyyy earlier this year, which you can read here. At the time we called her a ‘Burlesque Zen Master’ and a ‘wicked ball of lightning wrapped inside a giant cloud of hallucinogenic candyfloss’. I think we were just about right…

Official set list:
Rubyyy Jones / You’re Welcome
Trixi Tassels / Free the Nipple
Glory Pearl / The Naked Stand Up
Kheski Kobler / Strawberries

Ragina / Is That All There Is
Doris La Trine / Flushed
Rubyyy / Fridaaa

Tuesday Laveau / Scary Bear
Dis Charge / I’m Alive

2 comments

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s