I, probably like many of you, was a ‘burlesque virgin’ until last Saturday night, when Art in Liverpool was cordially invited to the Martini Lounge’s Burlesque and Variety Show at The Epstein Theatre, Hanover Street. As well as tickets to the show, I also had the amazing opportunity to meet one of the stars beforehand, at a swanky VIP party in Harvey Nichol’s Beauty Bazaar…
When Millie Dollar walks into the room, all eyes are on her: in a show-stopping vintage dress and bright red heels, she commands the attention of her audience. But don’t let this tough show-girl exterior fool you – Millie is a local girl with a huge heart, and made a massive effort to spend time with all of her fans.
Currently living in London, Millie returns to Liverpool as often as she can to perform with The Martini Lounge.
“This is my city”, she says, “so I wouldn’t want to take the show anywhere else”, and there is definitely something about the humour in the show that is inextricably linked to Liverpool.
Throughout our conversation, Millie referred to the show as “my baby”, demonstrating that performances in her home town hold a special place in her heart, and that the Martini Lounge is an important part of her life and career.
Millie is full of passion and enthusiasm for her art, as if every show were her first, despite having spent 8 years in the business already. I asked her if she was nervous about tonight…
“Of course! If you don’t get nervous it means that you don’t care!”, and I couldn’t agree more. This is a woman with huge dedication to her work and her nervousness is engaging; an example of her honest and charming personality.
Between snippets of conversation with Art in Liverpool, Millie made sure to work the room and engage with everyone, all eager for the evening’s show; taking photos with her fans and talking excitedly about the rest of the cast.
“We’ve got a great line-up tonight – it’s always a great line-up” she gushed, speaking of her fellow performers. Despite attracting a lot of attention herself for her infamous solo act, Millie was sure to pay respect where respect is due, as the whole ensemble is truly spectacular.
A warm, modest and hard-working woman, Millie is a talented performer with a huge future ahead of her.
As well as Millie’s incredible performance, all of the acts involved in the Martini Lounge were fantastic, and so different from the theatre we normally have on offer here in Liverpool. There were some stand-out performances from blues-inspired singer Tricity Vogue, and compère Fred Bear also deserves a special mention, for sprinkling the show from beginning to end with his own unique brand of humour.
It seems that The Martini Lounge has taken Liverpool by storm, and it is refreshing to see such original and imaginative theatre in our city centre once again.
With many thanks to The Martini Lounge, Bill Elms, the wonderful staff at the champagne bar, and of course, Miss Millie Dollar.
This review was written for www.artinliverpool.com