Monday, 9 February 2015


Next weekend will be valentine’s day. This means teddy bears, heart shaped chocolates and cheesy  I love you cards will be exchanged in restaurants packed with ‘table for two’ parties.

Valentines is the night when Nuala RUDE graces the stage to entertain the masses with her captivating burlesque routine. &I was lucky enough to have a private show with her and hear her talk a little about the art of seduction...


Once upon a time, in a mythical land of opulence, there was an enchanted wood and in that enchanted wood lay an eleganza castle and in that eleganza castle lay a… Who the fuck am I kidding? Nuala Rude, not surprisingly, was born a burlesque baby of my darling co-worker Soup Du Jour! Over cups of tea in work and many glasses of wine we created our first collaboration act in which we one the horse races and became money obsessed lunatics… She helped create glittery monster!

I would consider myself a Burlesque baby so my knowledge of what happened before Nuala Rude was born is very limited! (I should do my homework!) We do however have a bustling and thriving Burlesque scene here which is fantastic and now we are very lucky to have lots of new and wonderful things happening here at the minute. Over the last two years old Soupy has created the first Belfast Burlesque Festival, which ran in November and was a huge success, including A Newcomer Night, The Belfast Crown and The Belfast Burlesque Market! My role was primarily raffle based this year, but from these events I got to meet some spectacular lads and ladies from all over! As well the festival Soupy has Tease-o-rama, which I am very privileged to have had many parts to play in! Because of this event I have had the pleasure to meet an array of spectacular performers from all over, including the lovely Belfast based (soon to be moving to Bristol sadly –CRIES-) Teezy Overeazy, the beautiful Dublin based Bella Agogo  and of course the amazing Srg. Die Weis from California! Not to mention my new sister from another mister Dina BonCoup… (New and exciting things to come from the pair of us) I’ve also been very lucky to have worked with Vera Fontaine who runs the Burlesque classes for the Crescent Arts Centre. She puts on a showcase for her students and had me and a few other girls come and perform alongside them at Christmas this year, which was fantastic! We are so lucky to have so many amazing performers here, making a lovely little Burlesque family that Nuala Rude is being welcomed into!

Where do I even begin? Well for starters, I’m a signed actor. (Totally plugging this here too. I am running a showcase in Southbank Playhouse on the 6th February called Clatter O’ Actors.) So I’m used to prancing about onstage and having people look at me! Confidence is something that you HAVE to have in this industry, without it you really won’t go very far. You have to believe in yourself and selling yourself, which when you are having a bad day can be very difficult, you just need to keep your focus. But also, what people need to remember is that sexiness and sex appeal means something completely different to different people. So many people (myself included) stress over their looks or their weight, but it all comes down to owning who you are and being happy with it. Different people love different things and that’s what makes Burlesque as an artistic platform so powerful. You get to see such an array of different genders, sizes, shapes, forms, styles and backgrounds in one show! You’re all bloody spoiled really.

Luckily I was born a missy about town. But what I do think really helps is a background in either performance/acting or dance. It gives you an awareness of the stage and also the audience and because Burlesque is so creative and theatrical, the thought processes that go into choreographing a dance piece or writing a script makes it much easier. As I previously plugged, I am primarily an actor but all of my theatre work has really helped me develop my Burlesque persona, I just need to work more on my dancing… Boogying in Laverys doesn’t count… (Or does it?) Oh and as I’ve said it before babycakes... CONFIDENCE. You need to love who you are and believe in your own creations!! Aswell as this, the ability to sew is quite important too. I’ve learnt so much from working backstage with wardrobe (I was involved in the costume department for Bruisers production of Cabaret in the Mac in September) and also having people that you can go to for costume advice and recommendations. The Burlesque crew are always so helpful with suggesting the best types of fabrics and costume shops ect. I'm very lucky that I work in the Rusty Zip as well, so I have loads of styling experience and a good knowledge of Vintage fashion. A thick skin helps too. (Not literally. Ewh.) You have to be able to take criticism and work with it and listen to other people. That said you also need to be able to believe in yourself and know when to do what is best for you. Oh and get used to dodgy photos of yourself… There will be hundreds of pictures of the night. And you will have tummy rolls and idiot face in at least five of them. As for being a general badass? Well if the tiara fits…


Well my next gig is Valentines Night in the Black Box. After that I will be looking for bookings for the rest of the year. I’m also going to enter the Galway Burlesque Festival this year and of course the Belfast Burlesque Festival. Myself, Dina BonCoup and the beautiful Die Hexxen (an amazing musician and performance artist) are planning to start our own eclectic cabaret night so add ‘Nuala Rude’ on Facebook for more information about that! What I will say is Burlesque in Belfast is only going to get stronger if we support the festival and any burlesque gigs that are happening here… SO COME OUT AND SEE OUR BOOBIES. Oh and hopefully you will see me acting and singing in lots of things this year too!

Most of the time I look like a showgirl on crack. But my ultimate goal is to represent myself and my act through my costume. I mainly live for glitter. But other things are good too, like feathers and PVC. Hahaha. I'm getting more and more into making stuff myself. As my seamstress skills increase, the costumes get a bit more detailed and intricate, which is really inspiring and makes me want to learn more. Of course I have a soft spot for all things Vintage so I try to incorporate as much vintage as possible, be it a pair of vintage stockings or dance shoes. To be honest most of the time I look as if Kate Bush and Noel Fielding had a love child…

People don’t really realize that there are different types of Burlesque and that these different types can include lots of different techniques and styles. Not everything is straight down the line feather boas and Peggy Lee’s ‘Fever’. (Not that we don’t all love Peggy) Some acts incorporate comedy, dramatic sketches and different styles of professional dancing, as well as much much more. Other misconceptions are that Burlesque is easy. A good routine can take months to perfect and rehearse, especially if you are working in a troupe. It takes a lot to be able to write and choreograph and perform a routine as well as manage your own bookings and make your costumes. Some say that Burlesque performers could run the world…

Grab your tickets for the Valentines Tease-O-Rama HERE,
&we'll see you THERE!

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