Perth International Burlesque Festival returns

Jessica Gough as The Sugar Duchess. Pic credit: David Woolley
Jessica Gough as The Sugar Duchess. Pic credit: David Woolley

PERTH International Burlesque Festival (PIBF) is back after a two-year hiatus with new director Jessica Gough, AKA The Sugar Duchess.

“Burlesque is such a passion of mine and I see how much it changes lives for the performer, student and audience member,” Gough, of Leederville, said.

“It’s my mission to facilitate the empowerment in burlesque which is an art form that celebrates everyone – every gender, every age and every size.

“So I was honoured when invited to purchase the Perth International Burlesque Festival at the start of this year; it’s not something you can just buy at the supermarket.

“It has been a whirlwind but a fabulous whirlwind.”

PIBF runs from October 24 to 27 featuring workshops and four shows, including the Club Burlesque Gala at Astor Theatre on October 26.

Although The Sugar Duchess will not have the opportunity to perform on the night, she will be running around backstage ensuring the evening is a success.

“We have three amazing headliners sponsored to be in the festival,” Gough said.

“Chris Oh!, our first ever male headliner, is from Europe, there’s Sweetpea from the US and our Aussie headliner Jazida.

“These people are ridiculously amazing at what they do and with them we have other international, interstate and local performers as well. It’s a jam-packed showcase with MC Cougar Morrison, who is also an opera singer.”

Gough, who has danced jazz and ballroom most of her life, started burlesque in 2009 while in pursuit of a genre with less rules and “you don’t have to wait for a man to hit the dance floor”.

“Burlesque is so theatrical and something you can put so much of your own creativity in to,” she said.

“Australia is known for a lot of burlesque comedy. Parody and the art of tease, where something might be removed or put on, is what burlesque is all about.

“Perth has one of the biggest burlesque communities in the world and PIBF brings everyone together.”

THE ESSENTIALS

What: PIBF Club Burlesque Gala

Where: Astor Theatre

When: October 26

Tickets: www.perthburlesquefestival.com

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