Monday, 27 October 2014

Club Noir at Halloween

Sometimes, because it has established itself so completely, I forget about Club Noir. It is the biggest burlesque club in the world, and has notched up a decade of major events in Glasgow. And they collaborated with Scottish Opera and Scottish Ballet.

When I interviewed Tina Warren for my survey on Glaswegian performance, she was pretty clear about what makes the event distinctive. 

'Club Noir is a bloody brilliant event that brings the most diverse groups of people together,' she noted. 'It brings the freaks and uniques out of the woodwork. And allows audiences to be creative. We have consistently introduced more people to the highbrow arts, the likes of ballet, opera, classical music than any other organisation I can think of.'

Then I noticed that Empress Stah was on the bill for the Halloween special.

Here's what I said about Stah in The Skinny.

Stah was one of the first artists to make the link between burlesque, Live Art and fetish culture. Star of the Edinburgh Torture Gardens, Stah perverts the coy eroticism of most burlesque towards aggressive and cutting comments on sexuality and gender. Supported on the Saturday show by Maleficent Martini, a former ballet dancer corrupted by hard rock and alternative glamour, and on the Friday by broken glass maestro Missy Macabre, Stah is the leader of a new wave of cabaret that genuinely celebrates technique, alternative sexuality and glamour, retaining a sharp intelligent critique of taste and beauty.

Headliner Empress Stah not only shocks by toasting the audience with her own blood, but reveals superb aerial skills

Kabarett will be living up to its reputation as an alternative to the alternative: fresh from performing at Torture Garden and for Damien Hurst comes Empress Stah. Stah is a trapeze artist, another example of how cabaret is hybridising genres and inventing something new and deliciously wicked. Of course, cabaret revivals are inevitably the consequence of financial austerity, an aesthetic response to the failure of politicians. Yet with such urgent creativity, it will hopefully take more than an economic recovery to stop this ferment.

Saturday 1st November 9 p.m. till 3 a.m.

O2 Academy Glasgow, 121 Eglinton Street, G5 9NT

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