A tease sensation
Some say she’s the damsel of déshabille and others call her the princess of boom boom. One thing’s for certain, Lola is a vamp.
The princess of burlesque performs for audiences in Hollywood, Las Vegas, Edinburgh and San Francisco. And Lola the Vamp is now set to launch her solo show in Australia.
The performance forms part of The Bohemia Tour, one of the most extravagant burlesque tours of the year.
It features Lola the Vamp with Bohemia, and Lady Laine, Mina Von Lustern and La Viola Vixen with Once Upon A Tease.
Lola best describes burlesque when she says it is “the moment of elaboration, when the normal takes flight into the fantastical”.
“A Victorian woman would wear a very plain corset during the day,” she says.
“But when she went somewhere like Moulin Rouge or a cabaret, she would wear ruffles on her corset and it would be highly decorated.
“To me burlesque is that moment when something ceases to be purely functional.”
Lola’s live show will be interspersed with two silent films, The Poor Slob and The Good Fairy.
It will feature a live accordionist and a swathe of costumes by couture lingerie company Emerald Pillow.
For Lola, the burlesque performance was an extension of her everyday life.
“I don’t really dull myself down day to day,” she says.
“What you see on stage is really a heightened expression of myself.”
Lola wouldn’t divulge exactly how much money she spends on her outfits, but said that preparing each costume can take days.
So while Lola, by her own admission, spends hours curling her hair and layering costumes, the rest of us are still left wondering exactly what burlesque is.
“The only way I can explain what makes a dance number, a circus number or a comedy number burlesque is a sense of the performer’s awareness of their sexuality,” she says.
“Right from the beginning of the Victorian era, there was a saying that used to go around. ‘She was very awareish’, they would say, which meant that she was aware of her own sexuality on stage.
“That was the mark of a burlesque performer.”
The Bohemia Tour is on at the Gaelic Theatre on 20 September. Tickets are available at www.moshtix.com. For more information go to www.myspace.com/bohemiatour.