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Check out Missy Malone

Published: 13 Dec 2012 09:300 comments

Despite the outside temperature, things are heating up at Norden Farm, where a Christmas showcase is set to bring a cheeky smile to the gloomy winter nights.

PIN-UP QUEEN: Missy Malone

Sassy Scot Missy Malone will be pulling out all the stops to deliver her Burlesque Revue - an authentic fifties-infused cabaret with lashings of glamour and a tip of the hat to times gone by.

The Guide spoke to the burlesque bombshell, who is inspired by the original queens of pin-up, to find out how she went from circus student to showgirl. She said: "I have been performing for eight years. I never made a conscious decision to become a burlesque dancer, I wanted to become an actress as I enjoyed the characterisation. At 16 I joined the circus and trained in trapeze and stilt walking and as a teenage girl I liked rockabilly and the fifties style.

"It was my circus tutor who encouraged me to get into burlesque. She was an older lady and I had never heard of it. We didn't have the internet at that point so I started looking up burlesque in books. I had photos of the golden girls of the era and imagined how they moved."

We asked Missy what she thinks about burlesque being oft-regarded as a fancy form of stripping. She said: "Burlesque is a huge umbrella. There are striptease artists involved, but it's about satire, comedy, costumes and something unusual. There are amazing athletic feats, circus and magic, too. It's not all about stripping. A lot is, but even then it's just a little wink and a smile and then we're off!"

Missy performs satirical and striking routines, including the Bride Of Frankenstein where she is 9ft tall dancing on stilts, which take anything from three months to a year to choreograph and are inspired by music and her love of old horror films. She said: "I will only dance to a piece that makes me want to dance." On stage she wears lavish costumes she designs that take a month to make with the skills she learned from her costume design degree.

Missy is 'delighted' with the resurgence of vaudeville, with entertainers reviving art forms which, when performed, served as an outlet for war-torn and impoverished communities and she told us: "I like that it's now being taken out of nightclubs and back into theatres. I think vintage fashion has definitely made a comeback. People love it, it suits all shapes and sizes. It's a bit of nostalgia and there is nothing wrong with celebrating the human form."

She added: "The theatre shows see people from every end of the spectrum. One girl brought her father, in his late eighties, as it reminded him of when he was a soldier in the Second World War. They are the ones who saw it the first time round, and it's not shocking for them."

Joining Missy at the show, which will have a definite nod to Christmas, will be some of the very best names from the burlesque circuit, including Cherry Shakewell and Desmond O'Connor, and she is encouraging people to dress up - offering prizes for best dressed. So get your glad rags on and join Missy and her fabuslous friends.

Missy Malone and Friends Burlesque Revue is at Norden Farm, in Maidenhead, on Friday, December 21, at 8pm. Buy tickets, at £17, from www.nordenfarm.org or calling 01628 788997.

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