Burlesque. If you were anything like me during my first stages of acquaintance with this term, you dreamt up visions of showgirls, feather fans, glitter, glamour, and Dita Von Teese in a martini glass. All of these things, of course, are very much ‘burlesque’, they are what most people envisage when the term ‘burlesque’ is brought into conversation (which does not happen frequently enough!). However, recently, what comes to the forefront of my mind when I hear the term has changed.
A fortunate series of events has led me to find my feet in the comedy vein of burlesque. As it so happens, the Latin root of the word ‘burlesque’ comes from the Latin word burlare: to laugh, to make fun of. That is not to say I do not enjoy watching ‘classic’ acts—I very much enjoy them all! However, there is a special place in my heart for those women who can get up on stage and reveal not only their pasties, but their sense of humour. A joke is a scary thing to share with an audience, a joke that may or may not be at your own expense. What if they do not find it funny? What if they just don’t ‘get’ it?