Forget everything you’ve known about burlesque so far. Frills in Lockdown brings a new quality and primarily, a sense of humour, to the cabaret performance, showing that burlesque can be for anyone, literally.
The 40-minute long production consists of nine short solo acts and two group performances – Candy Man in the Pride aesthetics and the cancan in the grand finale when the titular frills are presented in all their glory. The amateur performers (and please bear that in mind that they are very amateur indeed) dance to hits like Welcome to Burlesque, American Woman or I Love Rock’N’Roll in their gardens, living rooms and bedrooms, as you do during the pandemic.
All the elements comprising Frills in Lockdown – choreography, costumes and filming – are very amateur but it doesn’t necessarily have to be a flaw.
Saltire Burlesque Academy, the Burlesque Fitness group from Scotland was established in 2019 to deliver body confidence classes, for all ages and genders. And this is exactly what they do during Frills in Lockdown – have fun, build their confidence, entertain the audience but primarily, I feel, they empower each other.
They perfectly fit into the aesthetics of the Fringe when the crowded streets of Edinburgh are usually full of beautiful people, confident with their bodies, dressed in cheesy, flashy costumes, advertising their shows. That’s why Frills in Lockdown manages to sneak a little bit of campy and charming vibe, characteristic of the Fringe, to the virtual fringe.
Is it a mesmerising, professional, seductive and electrifying burlesque show? Definitely not but it doesn’t even aspire to be one. Instead, it is charming, fun, empowering and bold because it crosses all the foregoing norms and conventions. All the performers deserve a big round of applause. Welcome to *totally refreshed* Burlesque.