A good head for figures?
Bettsie Bonbon, star of An Evening of Burlesque – which is at Preston’s Guild Hall on Saturday night – is not just a pretty face. Until recently she was working as an underwriter at Lloyds of London
Bettsie Bonbon, sultry star of An Evening of Burlesque, at Preston Guild Hall Saturday night, took a n unsual route to the stage.
Emerging from studying law at university with a very good degree, she went on to become an underwriter at Lloyds of London.
However, just a few years ago, Bettsie decided to concentrate on a career involving figures of a very different nature, becoming a full-time burlesque performer, and she says she has never looked back.
Now also a teacher at The London Academy of Burlesque, Bettsie says: “There are so many misconceptions regarding what a burlesque show is all about.
“It is very tongue in cheek and I think more people are realising that now.”
“Burlesque is the Italian word for parody, and that’s what it’s all about.”
Bettsie is quick to explain that An Evening of Burlesque is committed to bringing every facet of the age-old art of burlesque to the stage. This includes the lavish production doffing its exquisitely-tailored hat to the variety-infused Victorian origins of British burlesque entertainment.
“Burlesque and variety, the two go hand in hand,” says Bettsie, “so expect the glamour and the girls in the show to be interspersed by equally outrageous speciality acts.”
An Evening of Burlesque also keeps another surprise up its couture-crafted sleeve. Interestingly, women regularly outnumber men in auditoriums on An Evening of Burlesque’s sell-out nationwide tour.
“When you look a little closer at its content,” says Bettsie, “it’s actually no surprise An Evening of Burlesque is such a hit with the ladies.
“It’s a riot of feather boas, sparkly rhinestones, lace, organza, corsets, heels, capes and tassels.”
“Throughout the show, costumes are spectacularly, outrageously glamorous,” says Bettsie. “But it’s all done with a nod and a wink.”
Bettsie says that audiences buy into the fantasy.
“We ensure that no one loses sight that underneath it all we’re just normal girls playing a part.
“An Evening of Burlesque is a show where women hold the power.”
It’s an assertion that sounds all very right on you may think? However, Bettsie suggests that a quick scan of the auditorium on any An Evening of Burlesque performance reveals the truth.
“It’s not only the cast that get glammed up for the night,” says Bettsie. “Burlesquegoers regularly dress for the occasion.”
So much so, the producers – impressed by its customers’ efforts – have introduced a prize for the most glamorous member of the audience.
“It’s all very liberating,” concludes Bettsie.
“Looking and feeling glamorous – there’s no law against it.”
And with Bettsie’s legal background she should know.
An Evening of Burlesque, Saturday November 15, from 7.30pm. Tickets £23, concs £22.
Call 0844 844 7710 or see prestonguildhall.com