In days gone by Burlesque was something enjoyed by a handful of Goths, misfits and retrophiles. Now it’s discussed on This Morning, flaunted in High-street shop windows and makes regular appearances at upper-class Hen-nights and lower-class stag do’s. A stroll through this year’s Edinburgh Fringe showed a wearying over-saturation, with an abundance of nipple-tasselled, glove pulling troupes mechanically regurgitating the same tired routines. Which makes the proposition of Dee Itsy’s Kabarett all the more appealing.
Keen to distance herself from the current Burlesque invasion Dee Isty bills Kabarett as an “Alternative Variety” and trades in something far more subversive and substantial than the usual opulent distraction. “Kabarett is a mixed bill variety show and we lean toward the more alternative performance styles,” programmer Dee from the Itsy Collective comments. “We proudly showcase cabaret and burlesque performance alongside live art, comedy, music, dance, improv, spoken word & theatre. This works wonderfully in the informal environment we create. The Skinny’s own Gareth K. Vile has already praised its “Anarchic” and “Erotic” style, bringing in professional acts that trade in the thought-provoking as well as the titillating. As Dee continues, “We believe our show is genuinely unique in Scotland both in its approach and delivery.We are a perfect compliment to the cabaret / burlesque scene as well as to the comedy and performance led club circuits. We never focus solely on one performance aspect at our shows.”
Part of the idiosyncracy of Kabarett lies in the background of the Itsy Collective itself. “Given that our background and personal artistic preferences are in non-mainstream, non-mass exposed art it was natural that its preservation be a core principle in the creation of the Itsy collective in 2008,” Dee affirms. “Kabarett exists to create a platform for this.From our first shows we were keen to remain sub/counter-culturally focussed as there was, and remains, little outlet for this type of performance, particularly in Edinburgh, outside of music and art school circles.”
For their second anniversary Kabarett is hosting a birthday bash at Edinburgh’s Electric Circus, featuring the infamous Cat Aclysmic, who combines strip-teasing with fire breathing, Scotland’s own Cherry Loco, a trans-gender temptress, and the silver-screen beauty of Missy Malone. This is an evening of carnality, glamour, high-camp and Punk attitude.
Kabarett has a distinctive identity within the cabaret scene. “It is a very popular night and we attract genuinely mixed audience with fine representation from the ever-loyal cabaret and burlesque aficionados. Our relaxed approach, dispensing of dress codes and operation of an affordable entry policy makes it easy for the more casual punter to join the crowd and, as the show's curator, I'm keen to encourage this.”
Moving away from the excesses of the Fringe, and linking up with an independent DIY spirit, Decadence just became fabulous again.
The 2nd Birthday Show is at the Electric Circus on Saturday 2nd of October from 10:30pm to 3am (show 11pm - 1am). Entry is £5 in advance & £7 on the door.