Bored of me-too bars and chemical cocktail lounges? Liverpool’s nightlife is about to get a shot in the arm, and an OD of sequins, courtesy of Mo*Niques: it’s nightlife, Jim, but not as we know it. With a roll call of the glamourous, the eye-popping and the, ahem, more adventurous ‘turns’, you’d best hold on to your hats…it’s gonna be a bumpy ride…

SevenStreets: So, Mo*niques – should we be shaking our tail feathers in anticipation?

Liz (pic r): Naturally. There has never been anything quite like this in Liverpool before. We’re a little bit of everything – a venue, training establishment, embellishment parlour, boutique, and magical grotto of transformation for those who seek a little professional help perfecting a whole new look. We’ve got a spectacular interior and extraordinarily charming staff, with very fertile imaginations. So, yes, I’m confident that “Mo*Nique’s” will add to the general gaiety of Liverpool life

Burlesque – have we got it wrong? Is there more to it than Christina Aguilera and sequins?

Nothing wrong with the lovely Christina, and sequins are one of the major food groups in Burlesque. However, there is a great deal more to it than most people think. The term “Burlesque” originated from the Italian word “burla”, which means a joke. Originally, burlesque was a working-class theatrical expression of derision in the general direction of the “High Culture” enjoyed by the aristocracy. So opera and classical ballet, for example, would be parodied, and solemn pillars of the Arts establishment sent up sky-high.

“Les Ballets Trockaderos De Monte Carlo” are an example of this classic form. In America, Burlesque enjoyed a huge vogue in the postwar period, and the form developed to include comedy, satirical songs and revue acts, and of course, “Burlesque Queens”, who were wildly popular. They included such luminaries as Gypsy Rose Lee , Lili St Cyr, and Sally Rand.

These ladies, with their high-octane mixture of glamour, sauce and satire, produced an unbeatable combination of sexiness and irreverent humour. Burlesque today is inspired by their famous performances, but like all forms of theatre, it’s moved on too. Now we have all manner of performers,some ethereally beautiful, some cheeky and naughty, some cool and sophisticated.

Burlesque is returning to its variety roots, and our shows will reflect that heritage. Our acts will include music,magic, and mirth, as well as minxatious dancers.

What about something for the ladies?

We provide a warm velvet-covered welcome for ladies and gentlemen. Women usually outnumber men in our audiences. And for the determined seeker of male pulchritude, we do have “Boylesquers” too. We are also recruiting some very attractive waiting staff and cocktail pixies, both male and female, and everything inbetween.

We’ve heard you’re keen to showcase new acts? What particular party pieces are you looking for?

We’re passionately enthusiastic about growing our own. Something new and quirky will always get my attention. I am drawn to prettiness, sophistication, cleverness, and wit. Failing that, outrageous silliness. If a performer has that spark which will entrance an audience, and an imaginative act that they can put it over with charm, I’m interested.

Do you think Liverpool’s a fertile breeding ground for the outlandish, the outre, and the off the wall?

Yes, you’re never less than three foot away from a performer in Liverpool…I’ve always thought that. This is a well-documented aspect of the city, going back to the days when Liverpool provided entertainment for the whole world. It is has exported numerous musical entertainers, comedians, theatrical performers and entrepreneurs, and continues to do so relentlessly.

Liverpool operates a policy of positive discrimination towards the peculiar. Where else would a small bespectacled man have a lasting career featuring songs about bees, the daily doings of moths, and so forth? Where else could have produced Ken Dodd? We are a loon-magnet, and I say that with pride.

Which acts are you most excited about?

I have some tremendous people booked in. Some highlights confirmed are “Frisky and Mannish”, a dazzlingly talented duo, Rosie Lugosi, my favourite lesbian dominatrix vampire Queen, and the enchantingly pretty, talented Burlesquers the Misses Lucy Longlegs and Ruby Deshabille. Liverpool’s Barbie Shop singers provide a thrilling soundtrack. We will also be developing our newer acts and giving them a showcase, at “The Canary Cage”, which moves to “Mo*nique’s” from Baby Blue.

Are we ready for it? Can we just walk in? Do we need to have a special knock?

You have to have special knockers…the launch is 14th April, and we hope SevenStreets will be there. Then we will be open every night, and like the Windmill Theatre , we never clothe.

Mo*Nique’s
3 Temple Court
Cavern Quarter
Liverpool

Tickets for shows can be bought through their Facebook page, or by emailing lizcampus@hotmail.co.uk