It appears that burlesque is as common now as pub rock was in the 80s… in fact there is a part of me that thinks the rise of the popularity of burlesque may even manage to topple the pokies… (hmmm perhaps wishful thinking?) Many a bright young lass have been finding their sass and slide around the traps… and some unlikely of actors and designers doubling as burlesque performers… but there is something in it that captures imaginations. I am not so stirred by the sexual taboo – for me, there is a weighty and long history of cultural and political commentary at play.

The origins of burlesque are really like that of a revue or vaudeville variety show: originally being “a literary, dramatic or musical work intended to cause laughter by caricaturing the manner or spirit of serious works, or by ludicrous treatment of their subjects.” It takes a learned and thinking audience to appreciate that which is being referenced or subverted, and in a contemporary climate of visual stimulation, extreme physical portraits – I’m thinking body modification ( or even the more tame and still fascinating Embarrassing Bodies ) and overly sexualised images in advertising burlesque faces a tough crowd.

In the last ten years or so, the popularity of burlesque has proliferated. Read more