It might be a surprise to you to discover that Manchester doesn’t have a dedicated burlesque venue, but that’s about to change. The former Cirque Manchester which closed two years ago, has been reinvigorated after a make-over to become a bespoke burlesque and kink venue for the thirty-plus customer.


The club, which is next door to the Manchester Cemetery, is a three story bar and dungeon venue … yes, dungeon venue and its new incarnation has been shaped by one of the organisers of Sexhibition - Manchester’s annual kink festival. The venue will host regular burlesque nights, so that’s great news for new performers looking for a place to get their burlesque on and the basement dungeon will be used for more adult ‘kink’ and fetish nights. It’s a members-only club, as is more common for burlesque venues in the USA than the UK.


We’re seeing many more clubs making an explicit (pun intended) commitment to burlesque as part of their programming across the UK and we think there are two key reasons for this:


  1. everybody loves burlesque! Well of course we’d say that, but while some other forms of entertainment can be ‘marmite’, pretty well everyone who attends a burlesque night - whether it’s an amateur burlesque fundraiser for charity or an international burlesque show like the Folies Bergère - finds something to adore in the evening
  2. burlesque encourages a diverse crowd. For many clubs and venues, growing audience size is crucial to remaining open, as Cirque Manchester found out. Because burlesque is specifically focused on offering a diverse perspective of body shapes, ages, uses and ideas, those attending burlesque events are often both alternative and diverse, meaning that the venue is likely to find new customers and also have a crowd that is more naturally inclined to interact an
    d have a good time, so it’s a crowd that’s more likely to return for another event.


And if you’re getting your burlesque on for Halloween, we were very impressed by the rundown of burlesque make up tutorials on offer in a recent Burlexe post. Burlesque make-up is an often arcane art with some carefully preserved trade secrets, but key features of burlesque such as red lips and exaggeratedly high eyebrows are hallmark skills that can be adapted to almost any burlesque costume. For example, the classic red lip, as worn by Dita Von Teese, is a great base from which to craft a truly personalised lip look, like your own version of the Black Widow, which teams perfectly with our Black Widow Baroness costume for a truly noble Halloween appearance!


Black Widow