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Discover the City’s Saucy Side at Leeds’ First Ever Cabaret & Burlesque Festival

· James Tweddle · Culture

Get ready for a week of thrills, dancing and music.


This August brings the first ever Leeds Cabaret & Burlesque Festival to showcase the finest UK and international burlesque and cabaret artistes.

The art of burlesque and cabaret has gone from strength to strength in Leeds over the past few years, so it’s the perfect time to welcome the city’s very first Cabaret & Burlesque Festival from Friday 10th August to Sunday 19th August 2018. With a packed schedule celebrating the best dancers, acrobats and live stage performers from the UK and beyond, there’s something for everyone – at all levels of risqué.

Emma Stone

It kicks off on Friday night with The Death Do Us Part Danger Show at Belgrave Music Hall. This isn’t your average night out – expect knife-throwing, fire-eating, stage magic, and of course, plenty of burlesque dancing. Fusing circus acts with traditional cabaret from husband-and-wife-duo Charlie and Rachel Atlas, it’s a nail-biting evening of entertainment. Saturday sees a change of location as The Chemic Tavern hosts Tavern of Tease, with a packed schedule of cabaret and burlesque acts – all money will go to motor neuron disease charities.

Wednesday will continue the theme of fun and fund-raising at Wapentake on Kirkgate with Cabaret vs. Cancer: Last of the Summer Whine. Cabaret pros Morning Star, Rock Hart and Mrs No Overall will chat through stories and memories from being part of the Northern Varitease – and all money made will go to charity. If you prefer your cabaret on the big screen, why not pop along to Belgrave on Thursday night for Lola RockNRola and the Neo Vixens? It’s a series of movie shorts featuring the biggest names in burlesque. Make sure you stick around though, because Dr Sketchy’s Anti-Art School will follow the screening, with life drawing models and sketching challenges for incredible prizes. Friday moves to Hyde Park Book Club for Leeds Teasarama, showcasing the biggest burlesque names from across the UK, as well as Norway, Iceland and America.

Mrs No Overall

The weekend is where things truly go into overdrive because they’ve got two days of non-stop burlesque and cabaret events. Saturday morning dawns bright and early with the Burlesque Emporium, an all-day indoor market with a slew of activities, from live DJs to dance workshops and drag bingo. Don’t miss the delicious sweet treats from pop-up tearoom All The Tea and China, and once the clock hits half six, prepare yourself for the Cabaret Extravaganzzzaaa. It will show off internationally-acclaimed burlesque and cabaret dancers, including Ebony Silk, Trash Valentine and Bella A Gogo. But the fun doesn’t stop there, as they’re followed by Norway’s finest performers Valhalla’s Glory to see the party into the early hours.

As the grand finale of Leeds Cabaret & Burlesque Festival, Sunday will be the best day of all. The Emporium will still be in full swing at Belgrave, so don’t miss their pop-up cabaret shows before Tea Time Tassel Off All Stars. A stunning selection of winners from previous shows will showcase their stuff, including legendary performers Trixie Blue, Brandy Montmartre, Scarlet Rose, Innocence Bliss and Arielle Firecracker. Once the showcase is over, the night and Festival will end in a blaze of glory with the Tassel Off Satans Angels Final, as a whole heap of burlesque acts inspired by the iconic Satans Angel battle it out to be named Satans Angel Tassel Off Queen 2018.

The Leeds Cabaret & Burlesque Festival takes place at Belgrave Music Hall, Hyde Park Book Club, The Chemic Tavern and Wapentake from Friday 10th August to Sunday 19th August 2018.