Hundred Watt Club
Old Market Theatre, Brighton, 10th March, 2017
Host: Dawn Gracie
Cast: Joe Black, Bettsie Bon Bon, Arran Shurvinton, Twisted Nymph, Lena Mae

You know what it’s like being out on the road and staying in hotels…you find yourself naturally eavesdropping on passing conversations…little titbits here and there. You can’t help it, you almost don’t want to, but it happens anyway.

I was walking through the hotel lobby before the show and I overheard a little snippet coming out of reception…

“I hadn’t gone for the whole thing before…just skirts…but this time I did…it was really tight…and then it exploded! It went up! Just a big rip all down the side…”

“Oh wow…”

“So no more leather dress after that…”

“I’ve never worn leather. What is it like to wear?”

“Hot!”

Which funnily enough is exactly what the Hundred Watt Club is!

Hot! Hot! Hot!

And explosive!

It’ll rip you a new one!

Boisterous leather clothing swept firmly aside, it’s time to get on with the show!

DAWN GRACIE strides sumptuously out of the shadows…

Dawn Gracie by Scott Chalmers Photography

We say ‘Dawn Gracie’ but for the first half of the show she’s Libera-She, and she’s wearing a MASSIVE white sequin dress with an equally HUGE clam headdress…

And she’s very curvaceous…

Behind the Candelabra indeed!

Boopdy-boopdy-boopdy-BOOP!

“Good evening Brighton!”

Libera-She kicks the shit into gear with a little jazzy version of “Smells like teen spirit”

Thigh, leg, wiggle, shimmy!

Libera-She wanders down the tiny steps from the stage and into the front row of the crowd…the front row’s made up of tables and cheeky, naughty, boozers.

It’s a delectable crowd this evening. Some well dressed in corsets and leather, others in suits and skirts with a touch of flamboyance.

“How are we doing Brighton?!”

A mumbly mumble…

“A bit more volume please! How are we doing Brighton!”

Crowd: (slightly more jolly) ‘Hurrah!’

“How are we doing Brighton!”

Crowd: WHOOOP!

“That’s better! Welcome to the Hundred Watt Club!”

Libera-She wanders further, sits on the lap of a man in a hat…smothering him…then smothering him even further…

…then smothering him further still…

“Make some noise Brighton!”

Smothered man: (mmffmfffmmfmfmfm) / Libera-She: “Oh hush now” / Rest of crowd: WHOOOOOOOP!

“That’s more like it!”

“Our first act of the night is…”

BETTSIE BON BON! 

Cool! I haven’t seen Bettsie Bon Bon before. According to pirate girl at the Hundred Watt Club she’s an absolute babe…

Jazz music drifts elegantly out of the speakers…

Bettsie boops towards the crowd…

She IS an absolute babe!

Dawn Gracie by Scott Chalmers Photography

Dark bobbed hair, a little bit fiendish, a little bit kinetic. Dressed up in pink fur, pink satin, frenetic.

Boopdy-boopdy-boop-BOOP!

Bettsie’s like a flaming bottle of rum exploding on the deck of a pirate ship…the type of explosion that reveals a fiery little hallucination to guide you towards a naughty, mischievous endeavour…

Cuteness, curves…swizzling, sweeping moves…

Crowd: “Whoop! Whoop! Whoop!”

Bettsie: Boop-boop-bottom-boop!

Crowd: Bam! Bam! Bam! (that’s meant to be a foot stomp)

Bettsie: strip-strip-strips…

…Rip-rip-rip…riiiiiiipppppp!

The clothes are off and she’s down to the smalls…

A little pose:

Lip snarrrl, rrroar…wunderbarrr…wink!

Oh, but what’s this?

Bettsie pulls out a A BIG PINK PUFFER! (for powdering the noses of giants)

PUFF! PUFF!

Pink and purple powder EXPLODES into the front row…it’s creating a psychedelic mist of colours, grains and twinkles…

PUFF! PUFF! PUFF!

KABOOM!

Powder explodes off Bettsie’s bottom!

PUFF! PUFF! PUFF!

KABOOM!

Bettsie Bon Bon by Scott Chalmers Photography

A twist, a turn…a sling and a fling..

Chin-chin

Ching!

Voila!

BIG SMILE!

And with that she’s gone!

Big applause!

The pink and purple haziness makes it look and feel like Apocalypse Now…

“Oh Suzie Q, I love you…”

Anyway…

Now a beautiful lady named ‘Fillie’ wanders on to pick up the smalls and sweep up the pink and purple powder…

Sweep, sweep, sweep…sweep them smalls away!

And the front row’s getting a face full of the pink stuff!

In amongst the coughing and spluttering:

Libera-She: “Anyone here from Bognor Regis?”

Silence.

“Good! I f******* hate Bognor Regis! I was once banned from Bognor.”

Banned indeed.

Next up…

JOE BLACK!

Oh, how gorgeous! Love a bit of Joe Black and he usually has such sumptuous outfits…this time it’s a LONG LONG LOOOOOOONG dark and shiny dress robe swishy-swishy-swishy number…quite delicate, a bit of a delight.

Joe Black by Scott Chalmers Photography

Joe: “I know what you’re thinking – f***! Glenn Close looks rough!”

ha ha

Joe has a little eukele (that’s the musical instrument not some kind of horrific euphemism)..and he’s pinging about with it…

It’s a vivacious song about bedroom expression…

“A song about your cum face…”

Yeah, that’s it.

“Your cum face really puts me off…”

“With your ejaculation…you look like you’re going to have a stroke…”

Crikey.

“Wooo…ah ah ah ah ah ah ah enghghghghhghh $&%£!”£$%^&*(*&^%$£$%$£$”£$£$””$”

£$”£$$*&!!&*$£ indeed!

Next up:

LENA MAE!

Ah, the piraty pirate lady behind the Hundred Watt Club. This time she’s being a little bit Dinosaur Dinosaury…

I first saw Lena’s dinosaur act about a year ago at Cabaret Roulette ‘Evolution’. Back then it involved a bacofoil dino head and a cardboard tail (is that right?)…so I wasn’t too sure what to expect this time around. I took a pot shot and guessed ‘Raver hair and a Jurassic Park onesie!

Close!

But no…

Lena Mae by Scott Chalmers Photography

Lena’s dressed up like an atomic dinosaur bombshell this evening! She’s got a BIG DINO HEADPIECE and a little dino top and skirt…and an ELEGANT TAIL! It’s a bit 1950s, which goes with the whole retro act…

Like Joe, Lena’s singing a song – Diamonds are a girl’s best friend

But this version has a difference…

It’s not ‘Diamonds‘ it’s ‘Dinos!

And it goes something like this little snippet…

“Dinos, not Rhinos, are a girl’s best friend!”

“Talk to me Jeff Goldblum, tell me ALL about it”

“Oh!”

“Oh!”

BOOP! BOOP! BOOP!

“Dinos, not Rhinos,.. are a girl’s best friend!”

BIG SMILE and a CHEEKY WINK!

And she’s gone.

But what’s next? Who is next? Where are they from?

It’s it’s it’s….

NOSFERATU! (played by Arran Shurvinton)

Wow!

Tall, dark, handsome – huge ears and looooooong fingers..

Nosferatu by Scott Chalmers Photography

(all silliness aside it’s a bloody good outfit)

Nosferatu has a phone, one of those old school ringer-ringer-dial things that those of us over 30 remember. You used to have to work hard to use phones back then…not like these touch screens. You needed balls and biceps and thighs filled with the strength of a thousand office secretaries.

Anyway…

Nosferatu dials…

RING! RING!

RING! RING!

Nosferatu: Hello! (to the tune of Adele’s ‘Hello’)

Phone: Hello! (by Lionel Richie)

Nosferatu slams down the phone. Vampire unhappy. Vampire sad.

(by the way, this is was miles better on stage than it is in written form and this is a bit of a composite)

RING! RING!

Nosferatu: Hello! (to the tune of Adele’s ‘Hello’)

Phone: “Hello my honey, hello my ragtime pal …”

SLAM!

No, not much fun on that call either.

RING! RING!

Nosferatu: Hello! (to the tune of Adele’s ‘Hello’)

Phone: “Hello darkness my old friend…”

ha ha

Appropriate. (He won’t call anyone ‘Al’ either)

RING! RING!

Nosferatu: Hello! (to the tune of Adele’s ‘Hello’)

Nosferatu: “Say something…say something…” (this is Say Something by Jasmine Thompson – a cover of Great Big World + Christina Aguilera)

This is where it all goes a bit epic…

“Say something…Say something, I’m giving up on you I’ll be the one, if you want me to…”

“Say something…I’m giving up on you…Say something…”

As the lights go down, Nosferatu quietly, eerily, enigmatically, silently, beautifully, deliciously, puts down the phone and steps back into the darkness.

Fin

INTERVAL

Gin!

As it turns out the couple sitting next to me are at their very first Burlesque show. So what, you say, so what? The couple are in their seventies! Seventy odd years old and you’re still getting out to fun shows. I love that! I also like how they’re eating ice creams out of the tiny little pots like you would at the theatre.

Well tonight is a little operatic, so :)-

xx

SECOND ACT!

DAWN GRACIE’s back in a black sequin dress…no Libera-She this time, but she’s still tossing fireworks into the crowd…

“There’s an animal on loose this evening…can you see it, can you see it?”

The crowd looks around, sees nothing…

Oh hang on…a TIGER! (played by TWISTED NYMPH)

Tiger pounces on the front row, dances onto the stage…

Song: In the Jungle

…THE MIGHTY JUNGLE, THE LION SLEEPS TONIGHT…

Tiger’s all dressed up in a shiny outfit with little tigery collar and cuffs…

Twisted Nymph by Scott Chalmers Photography

Pounce, flip, spin, roar!

Rumble-rumble-bounce!

Twisted Nymph is a bit of a badass contortionist. Contortion never ceases to amaze me…how do you stay so limber contortionists?

Another pounce, another twist, another tangled-twisty-tangle…

And she’s gone!

Next up:

LENA MAE bounces onto the stage – sparkly jumpsuit, sparkly hi-tops – she’s like a fizzing candy-coloured cocktail sparkler or a possibly a detonation in a pick n mix factory…

And she’s even got a black eye and some bruises for her troubles…what HAS been going on backstage at the Hundred Watt Club? Has someone been withholding the sweets again?

Oh, but what’s this music!

EYE OF THE TIGER!

IT’S THE THRILL OF THE FIGHT!

RISING UP TO THE CHALLENGE OF OUR RIVALS!

Lena = Rocky…

Stallone has been stomped by a mad ass candy raver in hi tops.

(Rocky didn’t have outfits this bright did he?)

A kiss of the biceps, very nice.

Lena Rocky Boxer Raver teases…a little wink, a little rip of the sparkle pants…

Rip-rip-rip…and they’re off:

SPARKLY SEQUIN STARS & STRIPES SMALLS!

Shadow box, bottom boop!

Box-boop-boxy-boop!

And gone!

Next up:

Wow…Arran Shurvinton’s long slender arms and delicate exquisite fingers…they are a work of beauty. Plus I love that blonde hair and that big white dress.

And there’s Joe Black wrapped up in a witches outfit and a big black hat…glorious makeup and the rest.

We should introduce rather than patter…

This is TERMS OF UNNERVEMENT with WICKED…

Terms of Unnervement by Scott Chalmers Photography

What a gorgeous pair, and you just know this is going to be devious.

Well the sound is devious…a huge hunk of orchestration…

And a song! (lots of those this evening)

“Sisters…sisters…there were never such devoted sisters…”

Big smiles, muchos naughtiness, delicious merriment…

There’s a medley of music and themes…

“I feel witty and pretty and bright…”

This is one of those surreal little miniature epic performances that makes your eyes go tight and you say to yourself…’has the other side of me been at the acid recently?’

Hmmm…

I’m not sure about that, but I have been binge watching Breaking Bad recently, and I did pass an RV on the way to the theatre…

hmmm…

Anyway…

There’s a little bit of Kermit the Frog, some snippets of Hogwarts…all in all this act is like a crazy animation of its own. It’s beautiful.

Now Joe’s on a chair, crouched, now standing up…

AND THERE’S BILLOWING!

Super fucking billowing!

A big billowing dress as Joe soars into the air…

This is award worthy billowing. The award for amazing underskirt billowing goes to…Terms of Unnervement…

Wunderbar! Wicked!

(hunt this down on the internet)

Dawn Gracie: “Now for the final act of the night…A femme fatale explosion!”

BETTSIE BON BON!

Dark and eerie jazz twists and turns and curves it way throughout the room…

Bettsie wanders out in an elegant green dress…she’s an absinthe dream floating through the haze of an evening’s adventure…

Bottom!

Strip!

Tassels!

Shimmy!

Flick!

Big smile!

Bottom!

Kaboom!

Voila!

Fin

Hundred Watt Club by Scott Chalmers Photography

Hundredwattclub.com

A little extra:
I do love the Hundred Watt Club shows in Brighton. Great little theatre, decent pub next door (Bottom’s Rest) and a hotel on the sea front.

And all that sea air…what is erodes in stone it invigorates in flesh and bone.

Wonderful.

Thanks as always Hundred Watt Club!

XX

Photos kindly provided by Scott Chalmers Photography

Oh, here’s that tail we mentioned…

Lena Mae by Scott Chalmers Photography

And a bit more from Bettsie Bon Bon and Joe Black

Bettsie Bon Bon by Scott Chalmers
Bettsie Bon Bon by Scott Chalmers Photography
Joe Black by Scott Chalmers
Joe Black by Scott Chalmers Photography

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