Review | ‘BurLEZque: Pillow Talk’ inspires, educates & entertains

BurLEZque: Pillow Talk | De Parel | til Feb 3 | ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 

Local LGBTQIA+ talent has been shining brighter than ever on the stages of Fringe World Festival 2021, and the team at BurLEZque have gone full supernova with their dazzling showcase Pillow Talk.

A burlesque troupe on a mission to create art by queer women, for queer women, Pillow Talk takes audiences on a journey through experiences of queer female/femme sexuality.

Audiences are guided through the evening by the deliciously charming Ginger LaMinge. Serving as MC, comic, and burlesque performer, LaMinge brings a balancing levity to an intimate evening with strangers, prefacing each performance with short anecdotes that hint at the themes the artists are setting out to explore, shrewdly weaving insightful and important lessons about LGBTQIA+ identities, women’s experiences, inclusion and diversity into each monologue.

Cunningly playing with their title – Pillow Talk – the performers take a deep dive into topics that we find on our minds in the bedroom that you might not expect to lend themselves to the art of burlesque.

Grief. Anxiety. Uncertainty. A crappy day at work. BurLEZque take each of these universal experiences and translate them as beautiful, intimate, restrained and powerful burlesque numbers. Never shying away from burlesque’s sensual roots, the discomfort of these subjects or their queer femme perspective, the team are remarkable in their ability to tell such personal stories and make them accessible and exciting for audiences of all sexualities and gender identities.

This stellar team of performers (Ava Royale, Ava St. James, Fae Salem, Polly St. Pearl, Sammy Sparkles and Veruca Sour) each bring something totally unique and unexpected to the stage. Ava St. James kicks off proceedings with a striking opening number, Ava Royale brings a heavy-hearted striptease, Fae Salem and Veruca Sour teeter on the edge of slapstick and Sammy Sparkles brings big, bold drama to the sounds of Massive Attack’s Angel. These eclectic moments are all tied perfectly together through the show’s over-arching theme and LaMinge’s expert hosting skills.

It should be mentioned that the BurLEZque team also dedicate moments of the show to acknowledging who they are, and who they are not. The core cast of BurLEZque all identify as cisgender, and white, and urge their audiences to seek out stories from trans women, women of colour and non-binary folk; and offered signed posters in exchange for donations to LGBTQIA+ First Nations advocacy group Black Rainbow at their last show.

BurLEZque: Pillow Talk perfectly blends an hour of high-quality, jaw-dropping burlesque with authentic and powerful storytelling. Taking you by the hand, the performers lead you through beautiful moments of their own lived experience with a brilliant show that inspires, educates, uplifts and most certainly entertains.

Catch BurLEZque: Pillow Talk’s extra shows on Tues 2nd & Wed 3rd February. For tickets and more information, head to

Leigh Andrew Hill is an editor at OUTinPerth, with a BA from the University of Western Australia in Media Studies & Art History. Since 2005, Leigh has studied and practiced journalism, film-making, script-writing, language, contemporary performance and visual arts. Leigh is also a freelancer writer, and producer and presenter on RTRFM 92.1.

Image: Chayla Taylor

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