Let me set the scene… it’s 1920’s America and the ban on the distribution of alcohol means you’re having to venture into illicit drinking dens to get your boozy kicks. What waits behind these hidden doors promises a hedonistic and seductive scene of beautiful women and red-hot jazz. Sound tempting? Welcome to the Gin-House Burlesque.
Created by internationally renowned burlesque performers Miss Betsy Rose, Jolie Papillon and Missy Fatale, the Gin-House takes inspiration from the prohibition era and dazzles guests with a gin-soaked insight into the famously debaucherous times of the roaring 20’s.
Arriving in flapper costumes, we were welcomed by a two-piece jazz band and our bar-top-strutting vaudevillian host for the evening. Joe Morrose serenaded the crowd with a rendition of Frank Sinatra before introducing us to the burlesque three-piece whose glitzy, energetic opening gave us a taste of what was to come. Over the next four hours we moved between the eclectic rooms of the venue cheering on the revue at hand. We were stunned by magicians, teased by cabaret performers and enchanted by glamorous showgirls who encouraged guests to immerse themselves in the wild-ways of the Gin-House.
Providing the perfect setting for the evening is East London’s modern adaptation of a speakeasy: The Kings Head. Behind the shuttered exterior of this private members club awaits a maze of exotically decorated rooms, each oozing with quirky, eccentric character. I’d love to divulge more, but the charm of such a venue is that you need to experience its surprises for yourself.
For the dreamers and debaucherous amongst us, the Gin-House Burlesque is the devil on your shoulder telling you to indulge. Here, there are no barriers between the acts and the audience; snake charmers emerge from the crowd and fire eaters perform inches from your face creating a prohibition inspired evening unlike any other.