Furlesque extraordinaire Kiki Lovechild
With the Hundred Watt Club and Guildford Fringe teaming up again, Kiki Lovechild will be bringing his infamous ‘furlesque’ acts to Surrey. I thought I’d check in with him before the show to find out what ‘furlesque’ is all about!
Watch out Guildford, a lot of sexy fur is heading your way 😉
After reading the word ‘furlesque’ next to your name I was instantly baffled! What exactly does it mean?
Furlesque is my own brand of burlesque puppetry, the ‘fur’ part coming from the furry fabric I use to make a lot of my puppets. As far as I’m aware I’m the only one using this term for burlesque puppetry, which is a shame because in recent years there have been a number of excellent new puppeteers on the burlesque scene. And I am loving the competition – you can never have too many sexy puppets.
How did the furlesque acts come about? They appear to be quite different from your clown acts.
My clown work has been most of my focus for the last 10 years, but about 6 years ago I desperately wanted to get back into puppetry – skills I initially perfected while working in children’s theatre. And I’m really glad I did because it’s been so, so, so much furry fun! Within a matter of months, two of my first Furlesque characters were on the scene: the dapper Frank Little and the infamous Jessica Blue. More have appeared since, but I’ve never quite been able to shake these two! While they are quite different from my clowning acts, the sense of fun and underlying mayhem is just the same!
Are there other furlesque performers to be on the look out for?
There are lots of wonderful puppeteers on the scene, including the brilliant Leggy Pee. And Twice Shy Theatre – although they’re not burlesque – are making waves with breathtaking puppet cabaret routines.
Does furlesque always take the audience by surprise?
Comperes often introduce me by saying something like “I guarantee you’ve never seen anything like this before”. I love that audiences are never sure what to expect from furlesque, and just when they think they’ve got it sussed, I always throw in a kicker at the end!
Well done on winning silver for International Triple Crown at the World Burlesque Games for a furlesque routine, how amazing did that feel?
There’s a brilliant video somewhere of the surprise on my face when they announced it. I genuinely thought my routine was so off the wall that it couldn’t possibly win anything in a conventional competition. I loved it, and so did my puppets!
You performed The Hunting Trip for that show, what were the steps involved with creating that act in particular!?
The Hunting Trip came about over three years of experimenting – behind all the silliness there’s a lot of hard work. It merges some old vaudeville skills with modern burlesque, while also creating a satire of the fan dance – burlesquing burlesque. I think I need to sit down … I’ve confused myself.
There are three distinct segments in the routine to keep the crowd guessing what comes next. I didn’t create it specially for WBG, but it seemed like the perfect time to launch a routine that took so long to perfect.
If you had to choose a favourite furlesque act which one would it be and why?
I couldn’t possibly choose between my ‘children’. In all seriousness I love them all dearly, although Jessica occasionally gets on my nerves!
Speaking of the gorgeous Jessica Blue, will she have her happy ending?
Jessica Blue is a force to be reckoned with. She always gets what she wants in the end!
Big thanks to Kiki Lovechild for answering all of my interview questions; I feel more informed but just as intrigued about furlesque!
If you read the interview and are as curious about furlesque as me why not head to The Electric Theatre on the 8th of May to see Kiki Lovechild perform? He’ll be joined by the international vintage songbird Elsie Diamond, the raucos Dave The Bear, bodacious burlesque 100 Watt Club boss Lena Mae, the statuesque beauty Trixie Kixx and Winner of ‘Burlesque Idol 2014’ Pearl Grey showcases her unique charicatural take on the artform!
Don’t forget to don your vintage finery for a chance to compete in our infamous best dressed contest! Strictly over 18s only. Tickets are £15/£13 concs.