For a little light titillation here are some biographies written for the scintillating show “Something Naughty This Way Comes” by the Saintly Sinners, way way way back aeons ago in 2008. What does this have to do with food you may well ask. Well, not a lot actually, although after the show my accomplice and I from the Emerald Isle set out for a night of sushi and porter, from whence the highly imaginative phrase “sushi and porter” came, and can still to this day be heard cried out across the streets of London before mountains of said raw fish are guzzled and chased down with the black stuff. The night ended in a favourite Cantonese establishment, famed for the quality of its spring rolls, crab meat and sweet corn soup, roast duck noodle soup, roast pork and eel hotpot, ginger and spring onion chicken, mixed fried rice and chinese greens with oyster sauce, all of which we duly consumed before rolling slowly and tentatively back to the relative safety of Surrey. Strangely the morning call was one of I’m famished. Back to the boards, dahling:
If the world of burlesque entertainment, in all its vainglorious faux glamour, tinted with the slight shade of arrogance it can so frequently display, were to check itself as all disciplines should, it would come to light there have been whispers in the eaves relating to something of a shortage of genuine male talent. In a field dominated by feminine guile, what fellow would be strident enough to step up and breathe life in to the role of the gentleman performer? None other in fact, than Halifax’s own Leon Ancliffe, the sharpest dancer to emerge from the murky depths of Yorkshire since Billy Elliott himself.
Having executed a graceful Grand jeté from the gates of Covent Garden’s Urdang Academy, Leon made his Grand Pas in to theatre playing Daddy in Sweet Charity, Zach in A Chorus Line at the Bloomsbury theatre, and Burger, in Hair at Newcastle Concert Hall. Arguably his career highlight to date has been collaborating with Steven Daldry and Peter Darling on the concept workshop of Billy Elliot for its Broadway transfer. Versatility being his middle name (along with wild child, hot, gifted and modest he might add), Leon has turned his skills and dashing looks to the camera, playing Sid in Rogue Traders on the beeb, Stan Laurel in Fish N Chips for Discovery Films, and Freddy in Saturday 3pm. Should proof be needed that this seemingly rakish blade can exert discipline, take note that he received the Freed Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance, a fact he very rarely alludes to at cocktail soirées and dinner parties.
This emergence in to the realms of burlesque will witness a fusion of Leon’s crafts, developing a heightened performance presence that will doubtless have his captive audience purring with delight and gasping for more. The epitome of all modesty, his only request is that rather than a standing ovation, you might show your appreciation on bended knee. Such hardened fans of the Ancliffe dash can be found surfing the escalators of London for a glimpse of his devilishly carved grin as the face of 3 mobile’s digital poster campaign. “My oyster is at the ready” the hoardes have been heard to exclaim.
Hailing from the darkest depths of Maidstone in a flurry of smoke, mirrors, champagne corks and staggering bar tabs, arrives the inimitable Chloe Elizabeth Hunter, whose fine frame is offset by lashes that blow a breeze at her every blink. If glamour incarnate floats your merry boat, take heed, for here is a dancer of delight, not to mention a vocalist of note. Trained classically at the bar, Chloe’s skills surpass mere high leg kicks, as many have marvelled at her fine Chassé, or gazed in awe at her Fouetté jeté.
A self styled, fine fettled filly, with legs all the way up to her hips, this Huntress has graced the greatest stages on earth, from Deutschland to Delaware, from Tokyo to Tangiers by way of Figuera De Foz no less, and of late on our glorious Aunty Beeb, flashing her wares with her troupe in a can can vein. From can-can to go-go there is nothing this girl can’t and won’t gladly do, so brace yourself for pleasure beyond measure as you feast your eyes on her delectable physique.
The tastiest dish to come out of Devonshire since the cream tea, Jan Michael Hicks is a Devonian darling and another illustrious light to have trained at the Urdang Academy. On receiving the invitation to collaborate on Something Naughty This Way Comes, Jan was keen to remark that whilst burlesque may not have been a core discipline at Urdang, he has never been averse to disrobing for the pleasure of others. I say Jan, its not all about nudity you know ….however if you’d like to just pop your clothes on the chair there and we’ll begin shall we….
Jan is no stranger to treading the boards, having appeared in Liza Minneli and friends (west end), as well as Mac the bouncer (sweet charity, stratford circus). Clearly he is no stranger to many in this town (no comment he drawls, reclining mid-pose), as his tv credits include Holby, Eastenders and The Bill. Jan is also fronting a short film “midnight logic” that is festival bound and a new internet horror series soon to go into production in february, as well as being part of ITV2’s new exciting drama Trinity as a dandelion member. My, he has been busy, it’s a wonder he finds time to keep that tall, toned body of his in shape. Fear not dear audience, for his regime consists of numerous daily thrusts and frequent lunges. “A body like this doesn’t come easily” he once remarked, only to be proven wrong moments later. Ah, such is the life of the performer in their grime. I mean of course, prime. Prime Devon rump.