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Sunday, 24 March 2019 08:42 am

Hobbit premiere week ended with burlesque flourish

THE END of Hobbit week saw more mystical creatures arrive in Wellington – but these ones wore costumes with sequins, danced with feather fans and had audiences in stitches.

Bare and Back Again, a burlesque spectacle paying homage to Middle Earth, took place the same week as The Hobbit premiere and delighted sell-out crowds of burlesque and Tolkien fans.

Producer Sadie von Scrumptious says she is thrilled with Bare and Back Again – especially considering her idea to put on a Middle Earth themed-show was initially met with scepticism.

“The show went really, really well. Saturday’s show was a sell-out,” says Sadie, who was master of ceremonies at the Fringe Bar event.

“But more important than that, the people who attended were the ones who saw the humour and beauty in it.”

The show consisted of acts from nine Wellington burlesque artists, two belly dance performances, a musical act from singer Gracie Hart and a skit from Auckland vaudevillian Lilly Loca.

Characters depicted ranged from the graceful, rhinestone-covered “elf princesses” played by Scarlett De’Light and the Deity Dollicious (right), to a fan-dancing “orc-turned-warrior-woman”, played by Winnie Chester.

Allegra Valentine gave a nod a The Hobbit with her performance as Smaug the dragon, complete with wings and a horned headpiece, while belly dancer Pip E-Lysaah was creepy but alluring as Shelob the spider.

Clear crowd favourites were “boylesque” performer Clever Hansel as a corset-wearing wizard, Miss La Belle as a dwarf who discovered her feminine side, and Volumptuous Twinkle as a saucy hobbit woman.

MC Sadie, who swapped her usual sequined gown and high heels for a fake beard and a three kilogram metal helmet for the occasion, kept the audience laughing between performances.

“I had a crush on Legolas, and everyone teased me,” she told the crowd.

CREEPY BEAUTIES: Belly dancer Pip E-Lysaah (in front) with the women of the Dead Marshes, played by the Moonjelly Belly Dance Troupe

“And then the Twilight movies came out. So I look respectable by comparison.”

She says she was pleased with the audience’s reaction at both the Friday [November 30] and Saturday shows.

“Friday was more intimate and loud. Lots of one-on-one interaction – everybody wanted to touch my dwarf beard.

“Saturday, we had more people dressing up in Middle-Earth costumes themselves.”

At the Saturday show, Sadie gave out awards for audience members who arrived in costume, under the categories of “most beautiful”, “most impressive” and “most Middle Earth.”

“We went the extra mile with costuming and planning, because it is an unusual theme,” says Sadie.

“My favourite things were seeing how creative everyone was with the theme, and of seeing an audience ready to enjoy something completely different.”

Sadie’s next big projects include producing a burlesque show for Out In The Square in Wellington in January 2013, and MCing Caburlesque’s Roaring 20s show in February.

More information is available on her website

MYSTICAL MADNESS: (L-R) Allegra Valentine (Smaug), Lilly Loca (Arwen), Miss La Belle (a dwarf), Winnie Chester (orc-turned-warrior woman) (In front) Volumptuous Twinkle (a hobbit woman)


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is a Whitireia journalism student, most passionate about the arts and social justice issues. Sometimes, she even combines the two.
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