Cream Tease, Oxford’s very own burlesque troupe, beguiled the audience with a bevvy of dancing beauties, pun-laden songs and more than a little cheek.
In group pieces or in solo acts, the ladies graced the audience with a series of nubile dances as piles of discarded clothes gathered on the stage. Dances ran the gamut from slinky sets for sultry songs to more amusing numbers with comedy elements. I was for instance delighted by Maple Syrup’s dance to Ursula’s 'Poor Unfortunate Soul', and the pole dance was simply an amazing show of agility, with the long legs a cherry on top.
As a gentleman, I was initially anxious about cheering all the booty shaking, but my hesitancy quickly vanished as the lighthearted and supportive tone of the evening was set by the compere.
Interspersed between the ladies, Derry Pope, our deliciously camp compere, serenaded us with a series of naughty Noel Cowerd-esque ditties. As well as being a pleasure on the eyes (whether in glittering tux or leather pants), Pope had both a marvellous voice and magnificent stage presence. Confident and funny, he was able to set the tone for the evening, helping us feel at ease in what is admittedly an unusual evening’s entertainment.
Through the roots of burlesque are firmly with the male gaze, tonight’s show felt more empowering and confidence building. Bodies came in all shapes and sizes and were equally cheered by the mixed audience. As you would expect from the setting, this is very much a fun night out with friends (and family if you’re brave!), rather than an after-the-pub affair with the lads. Though there was plenty of flesh on show, most the burlesque numbers finished with a quick flash of tassel and exit stage left, which treated the right line between sauciness and comfort.
After a sold out performance last year Cream Tease chose to help us to a second helping this time round. There’s still a chance to catch an eyeful on the 5th of July, but if you miss it the troupe will be back in December with ‘Last Christmas I Gave You My Tart’.