Bristol's Badass Burlesque Show
Gorelesque Queen Lilly Laudanum explains the fine art of the gross out.
Yes, you might have guessed, for me it’s Halloween every day. For the past 20 years I’ve made a living out of everything horrific, whether it was getting gory with my previous bands, re-living the historical side of real-life horrors as an actress at the London Dungeon, playing various ‘left of centre’ walkabout parts and now, by adding a bit of camp terror to burlesque.
For those who are unfamiliar with what gorelesque is, it’s using blood, guts and gore and fusing them with burlesque. It’s all the frills with plenty of chills.
For me, gorelesque works best when it’s not just covering yourself in blood for the sake of it. Think of it this way, the best horror films have a great story line with plenty of jumps, characters to engage you and possibly an unexpected ending and those which just seem to involve loose characters awash with plenty of claret aren’t that memorable. And there has to be a reason for the blood/gore in the first place; ie a catalyst for the mess and a reason for getting the kit off.
So, if you are thinking of putting together a gorelesque routine for Halloween, here’s a few things I like to think about when I’m creating my characters that might help you get in the mood:
* Character (a character that would get involved with blood and guts – you don’t have to be ‘undead’, you could be a nurse who enjoys getting a bit messy!)
* How does your character act before and after the gore element is introduced? Is there a change in personality?
* How will you use the gore as part of the choreography and how does it tell the story
*And speaking of the story… what is the beginning and what is the end?
It has to be said, one of the most skilled parts of getting gory on stage is not getting the stage covered. No one will thank you if they have to scrub the stage before the next performer treads the boards – and the next performer will not thank you if she slips in your mess or her rhinestone encrusted costume is ruined. So it’s always worth bearing in mind and practising ways of keeping the gore on only yourself.
I run gorelesque workshops in Swansea and am always on hand if you need advice/help with SFX, a certain blood choice that’ll wash out of clothing or if a group want to come to a gorelesque party (yes, these are the most fun workshops I’ve ever led!) do get in touch!
In the meantime, keep it bloody!