It was on a regular night out in Edinburgh that Brandy Montmartre, whose real name is Hannah Rose, was first introduced to burlesque. When producers of the show, after seeing her dance, asked her if she would be interested in performing in their act, she says she never looked back.
That was in 2015, and the 32-year-old performer has enjoyed massive success across the globe, even being crowned Burlesque Idol Scotland in 2016. Her previous show, “The Twilight Tease Burlesque Revue,” sold out in her native Kirkcaldy.
Now, Ms Montmartre has come to St Andrews, where she noticed a lack of commercial shows like hers. She says she saw a market for a little glitz and glam in our small historic town, which she plans on delivering with her new show, “Burlesque Christmas Cabaret Dinner,” scheduled to take place at Hotel dû Vin on Saturday 1 December.
The show, however, has been met with some resistance. One person, she said, has actively complained.
“It’s been quite a challenge to secure a venue in St Andrews. It’s almost as if people were keen, then would just back out. We were in the final stages with one venue when they backed out.”
Luckily, she continues, “My contact at Hotel du Vin has been to a burlesque show in Las Vegas and knows what it is.”
That is to say, not a strip club. Ms Montmartre explains that burlesque is driven by humour, and there is more money that goes into it in terms of production value.
“Strippers are performing a service, burlesque is not. There’s no full nudity, it’s actually more about what you don’t see. In fact, it’s more of a parody of voyeuristic society.”
She adds that her show has for its intended audience all genders and promotes self-love and body positivity.
If you are interested in attending the first event of its kind in the history of St Andrews nightlife, you can buy tickets for the Christmas Cabaret Dinner for £40 at eventbrite.co.uk. That includes the show, prosecco reception, and three-course meal in the beautiful ballroom of Hotel dû Vin. The fun begins at 7 pm.