With the swish of her hand and the shake of her hip, Tess Tickle said goodbye to Sydney last Sunday night at Slide nightclub. It was in true DIVA fashion, with a cast of thousands of friends and fellow showgirls. Slide was privy to performances from Sydney’s finest, all there to say farewell to such a special performer. We were even treated to an amazing duet by New Zealand legends Buckwheat (flew over especially) and Bertha (now calls Sydney home). Both belting out the ballad that had the whole club erupt with delight. With huge hair, big smiles the girls towered over the audience, showing us all that the NZ girls know how to sell it.
After 15 years in Sydney and on the stage Tess has decided to re-relocate back, to Auckland to be closer to her family – you miss the small things, like mum’s cooking or just being close to your family members, Ms Tickle told me.
So why will this showgirl be missed so much, you may be asking? Aren’t there 100 other showgirls waiting in the wings to replace her?
There will only be one Tess Tickle. She brought such beauty, grace and elegance every time she stepped on the stage. Whether it was a slow ballad or being a part of the history-making DIVAstated cast in the middle of a complicated “Ashley Swift“ dance routine, she seemed to just flow. The other cast members could be seen sweating up a storm, but like a true lady, Tess would be gliding through the movements, glistening here and there, making it seem so easy even though on the inside she was absolutely buggered.
I have been lucky to have worked with Ms Tickle many times, though not on a regular basis. It was usually either one of us filling in for another cast member who was away or sick or both.
I remember working with Tess at Stonewall one Saturday night. She was filling in for Vanity, while she was in London. As I had to run down to the Midnight Shift at the end of the show and perform there, she decided to tag along and stay out for one or two drinks. She usually stayed out for a little while but never the whole night, we have all grown up and out of those days.
Next thing I knew, we were both propped up at the bar back at Stonewall pissed as nits, trying to decide if we should have one more drink. I was looking like a wreck, through a mixture of being drunk and kissing many boys. Tess was still looking $85 – smile beaming from ear to ear, “We will just have one more, hey” was the reply I got.
I am sure I can say this from all of Sydney’s showgirls and those who have met you while you have been here in Australia – we are going to miss you and look forward to either visiting you in Auckland or when you decide to grace our stages once again.