Burlesque nights are fast becoming a signature of London night outs. There are numerous clubs, pubs and bars throughout the capital offering burlesque and cabaret themed nights in various sizes and forms.
As the theme of burlesque and showgirls is quite wide ranging, the ways in which you can experiment with this lifestyle are also very different, and designed to suit different levels of interest and commitment. This can range from dipping a toe into the risqué practice of seeing ladies taking their clothes off, to a mixed music, dancing and theatre affair. Or you can head down to somewhere like Gypsy Hotel and sign up for the following:
The sort of night you’d go to if you have just 12 hours to live. A riotous party full of Balkan bands, burlesque, swing, magicians and vaudeville sideshows with a heaving and sweaty dancefloor.
The listings below range from full on cabaret nights out and themed bar nights such as Gypsy Hotel, to afternoon tea affairs at Volupte for a more formal classy affair with (probably) less debauchery!
I would well recommend persuading some friends to head for a burlesque themed night. Some may take more persuading than others, but personally I found male friends particularly easy to coerce!
Several times in the last month I have found myself pouring over the internet trying to find burlesque themed nights for me and my friends. To be honest this is quite a frustrating task as it can be difficult to find the best websites for burlesque nights in London. Also I have often found that you find what looks to be an amazing night out, only to realize it occurred a couple of weeks ago!
Unlike other articles on here this post is more of a resource than a good read. Below are some of the best links and contact details for various burlesque establishments throughout London, and at the very bottom there are also some general interest sites relating to burlesque in case you would like to find out more about the history of cabaret, or take some classes in burlesque dancing!
Gypsy Hotel is a debauched rock n roll cabaret themed night which runs roughly once a month. Acts vary each month and feature a wide line up of mixed performances.
Drinks are reasonable and if live music is your thing then this could be the night for you. Most of the bands on the nights bills have a Tarantino style of sleazy rock n roll with a side order of jazz funk.
An entertaining night out full of characters and some interesting unique act make Gypsy Hotel an ideal venue to hit up with a larger group of friends. The door cover is usually £6.66 so you can get an idea of the kind of night you are in for!
Volupte is a slightly more expensive and classy burlesque affair with a table book system similar to a fancy restaurant. Tickets should be bought in advance as shows tend to sell out in advance.
If you are looking for a classy way to sample some burlesque activities then this one could be the best option. Also if you are trying to persuade your girlfriend or friends that burlesque nights are more than just glorified strip nights, then Volupte will be sure to win them over.
With previous event rosters including hosting Kate Moss birthday bash and most line ups including luxury drinks and fancy cakes, the class and elegance of Volupte should win over even the most opposed visitors.
Bethnal Green Working Mens Club
Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club is notorious throughout certain circles in London as a trendy hidden venue which boasts lively crazy nights on frequent occasions. The working men’s club is hidden away just off Bethnal Green Road and offers a wide range of nights out catering for all tastes.
The website is updated regularly and lists events for up to two months in advance, the place fills up pretty quick and early so if there is a night you are desperate to see then I would recommend getting down to the east end early!
The nights often feature dressing up in random costumes and are themed along the lines of pulp film and grind house styles. The club is not strictly a burlesque venue but nights do often feature go go girls, zombies and ghosts trains.
Speaking of ghost trains the Halloween party at the working men’s club is famous as a must for all Londoners and a great excuse to get dressed up all scary.