Penelope Pop at Astor Theatre’s Australian Burlesque Festival 2017 – Tropical Tease

Casey O’Brien as Penelope Pop. Picture: Andrew Ritchie
Casey O’Brien as Penelope Pop. Picture: Andrew Ritchie

CASEY O’Brien may not have known what burlesque was before 2010 but she is certainly acquainted with the performance style now.

“I’d danced jazz, tap and ballet since I was a kid and had a friend at uni ask if I wanted to go to her burlesque class with them,” O’Brien said.

“I replied with ‘what’s burlesque?’. I started at Sugar Blue Burlesque classes in 2010, kept doing classes, joined the troupe and now I’m teaching.”

O’Brien, otherwise known as Penelope Pop, said she immediately fell in love with the glamour of getting dressed up and performing on stage.

She is one of a select group of Perth talents who will perform in the Perth leg of the Australian Burlesque Festival 2017 tour Tropical Tease, at Astor Theatre on October 7.

“It’s the first time the Australian Burlesque Festival has come to Perth,” O’Brien said.

“I’ve been in a few other festivals before, like the Perth Burlesque Festival, but this is the first for Australian Burlesque Festival.

“I’m just doing the Perth shows and there are headliners touring the country. All the headliners will be teaching workshops while they’re here. You always have to keep learning so I’ll definitely be hitting them up.”

O’Brien will perform twice in the show: once as the coy, cute and cheeky Penelope Pop and also as a Les Sataniques go-go troupe dancer.

Les Sataniques formed during O’Brien’s time working as a go-go dancer at Devilles Pad before it closed in 2015.

“When Devilles closed we decided it couldn’t be the end for Les Sataniques, so we just kept going,” she said.

“The go-go routine has a spy theme with gold glitter guns and a fun, ’60s spy vibe.

“Penelope will be performing to Zou Bisou Bisou on a platform covered in faux furs.”

She said the feel-good evening would be a mixture of classic burlesque, with crystals and tease, plus neo-burlesque featuring comedy and acts with clever storylines.

“There will be a real variety and it’ll be fabulous,” she said.

“I just wish I could watch it and not be backstage.”


What: Australian Burlesque Festival 2017 – Tropical Tease

Where: Astor Theatre

When: October 7