Cabaret of Curiositease was Berlin Burlesque Week’s Friday show, freaky and strange, odd and fantastical, political and dark, this cabaret was a unique addition to the week.
Taking place in Toast Hawaii, a venue filled with wonderful oddities like a unicorn and carousel themed bar and a stage that resembles a small traditional theatre stage. Our first act and host was Tom Harlow, a drag queen from
Scotland with all the flair, charisma and sassiness to capture the audience from the beginning. Tom was dressed as a classy and elegant clown with two singing acts between performances that were simply enchanting and introduced each act with comedy and style.
It was a truly weird and wonderful night that was shocking, creepy, seductive and dark all at once.
Our first act from the lineup was Dunja from London, who came out dressed as a sinister Jesus figure with thorns around her head, bleeding eyes and a white cloak, which she later tore away to reveal her legs wrapped in barbed wire and appearing to bleed. Dunja hammered a nail into her nose before she stripped down and took out a hula hoop covered in barbed wire, tested it with balloons and then used it herself. Performing to Marilyn Manson’s Personal Jesus, it was safe to say it was a shocking and slightly masochistic circus act, but despite being in pain she remained stunning and sultry.
Next in line was one of the organisers of the show Fifi Fantôme from Canada, performing a haunting show of bulging eyes and sinister movements. She came out with an umbrella that had white floor-length tassels so she had the appearance of walking through the rain. Sticking some large eyes to pop out of her small curtain, she performed around the theme of ‘eyes’ and wore a 20s style outfit and top hat. Her performance kept altering as she danced, from crying to angry to overjoyed, which made it crazy entertaining.
Described as ‘curvy mama’, Parisian drag queen La Big Bertha performed for us. Bertha came out dressed as a nun with a habit that covered her face in black and carried a big bible. As she pulled off each white glove, glitter was scattered and red gloves remained underneath, gradually stripping down to a red lingerie piece and nipple covers, making the crowd go wild.
She smoked a cigarette seductively before putting it out on her tongue and throwing it to the audience.
After a short break, Ariane Katrina Verdigel, or the ‘Handstand Goddess’ from London, performed an act with truly fantastic contortions on stage. Well choreographed and mesmerising, Ariane moved across the stage in such an odd and elegant fashion it was hard to take your eyes away.
Wild Whiskers, a German, female power duo, came after with a holy procession down the main walkway of the venue, dressed up in hooded robes, large crosses and holding candles. The two stayed in sync as they started their well-coordinated routine when they both took a lipstick out behind their crosses and applied it dramatically as M.I.A’s Bad Girls started and they stripped down to red lingerie – completely in sync throughout their entire dance.
Entering to a strange black and white film being played, the gorgeous femme fatale Billie Rae, who came out covered in white, pearls and a Gatsby vibe, as she smoked a cigarette seductively before putting it out on her tongue and throwing it to the audience. The main attraction though was her fire play, managing to rub it on her skin, perform with and eat fire which made it such an entertaining and delightful watch.
The last act of the show was Curly Gumbo Lee, a Swiss circus-burlesque performer that was dressed like she was part of Beetlejuice and rocking a clown face. With an eyebrow raised and a sadistic grin, Curly danced and stripped before she inserted feathers into her skin aggressively, impressing the crowd.
Ending the night with sparklers, the cast appeared one last time before we left. It was a truly weird and wonderful night that was shocking, creepy, seductive and dark all at once.