isle of wight burlesque

Isle of Wight Burlesque: The Black Cat and Top Hat

This burlesque profile is based upon a performance at The Black Cat and Top Hat show which at The Tap, Sandown, Isle of Wight, UK.

Burlesque, blue hair and the blues made for a belter of a night 

Nick Painless’ Black Cat and Top Hat events always showcase the best of the Island’s alternative talent. 

Painless, the charismatic and witty showman humorously introduced the acts with passion, enthusiasm and a very anti Boris sentiment that went down well with the cheering crowd. 

The ultimate professional had his audience in the palm of his hand as we all sang our hearts out Live Aid style when prompted by Painless with a Freddie Mercury style:  “Aye oh” throughout the night. 

Gothic beauty, Ravenna Grimm performed her unique gorelesque burlesque to Korn’s Twisted Transistor. 

The raven haired, porcelain skinned, tattooed, burlesque performer is perfectly petite with exquisite curves and a delectable peachy posterior. She bewitchingly interacted with the crowd with her entrancingly tempting wiggle. 

Her movements were naturally flowing and balletically graceful in contrast with the dark theme. Known for her storytelling routines, Ravenna’s gothic noir arthouse performance featured her dressed in a flowing black robe which she unveiled to reveal her stunning black lingerie with beautiful silver shimmer and sparkling diamanté detail. 

She eerily carried a human skull, displaying it to the crowd before she seductively lured Mr Grimm onto the stage where she shockingly killed him to end her gothic fairytale nightmare! 

Island pop punk princess, Alisha Bleue is a tiny vocalist with a big voice. Instantly recognisable with her striking blue hair and powerful vocals, she performed a delicious set full of passion and emotion. 

Highlights included her stunning version of Ed Sheeran’s Shape of You. Alisha’s funky sensual vocals had everyone dancing along or shimmying in their seats. 

The power and control in her voice is rich, pure and smooth. The vocal equivalent of a luxury chocolate on the senses. She sings ballads with elegance and class, like Adele’s Rolling in the Deep. However it was This is Me from The Greatest Showman where Alisha Bleue sang with such emotion that people watching commented that they had goosebumps.

It has been a privilege for me as an audience member and gig lover to watch Alisha develop as a singer/songwriter over the last five years. From a teenager with incredible talent and a beautiful voice, to the exceptional singer she is today. 

There was also burlesque from Portsmouth’s burlesque firecracker, Diosa Roja  whose incredibly visual and impressive Matrix inspired routine featured a huge glowstick and inspired use of glowing lights.

Plus cowboy blues from the very talented Dan Smith whose bluesy version of Michael Jackson’s Billy Jean was innovative and moving, a very special performance. 

Events like Nick Painless’ Black Cat and Top Hat and live venues like The Tap give our artistic Island entertainers the opportunity to get out there and do what they love, perform.

Review by Rachel Rocks

Photos by Nick Painless

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