Achtung! Burlesque Cabaret and Fetish Celebration

By September 30, 2008 September 23rd, 2013 Culture

         The 27th of September saw the fourth Achtung! Fetish Celebration event held in the ‘Fine City’ of Norwich and it was undoubtedly the most popular yet. Achtung! is the result of Frank and Karen Reading’s fetishistic imaginations combined with the lack of anything of that nature happening in my home town.

 It helps that the Readings have a background in fetish, running their own pay-per-view bondage website and the first event included burlesque performances from Millie Dollar and Beatrix Von Bourbon as well as bondage equipment and toys for attendees to play with (after signing a waver in case you hurt yourself inadvertently!). Other show stoppers have included Chrys Columbine, Vicky Butterfly, Warren Speed and Diva Hollywood as well as rope bondage displays and demonstrations!

         With Achtung!’s popularity growing I had been asked to help host Septembers’ event, along with fellow model Roswell-Ivory, suitably attired in military-style uniforms complete with red caps and riding crops. The night had moved to a new location within the city, which had mirrored walls, cushioned booths and red curtained windows, very appropriate for the theme of the evening. As I stood on the door, welcoming people and taking tickets I got to see everyone in attendance and their outfits. These ranged from full pvc cat-suited men, to pasties and top hats, corsets and ballgowns and I must admit I was impressed by the effort, and associated risk, undertaken by many of the guests – while Norwich is a diverse city there are still those who would not take kindly to transvestites and it demonstrated the passion and commitment from those members of the fetish scene.

       Despite the dresscode it seemed the emphasis tonight was on burlesque rather than BDSM, there was only one piece of equipment, a staid touchy-feely box, (one person gets inside and others can put their hands through the holes in the sides) and while there was a rope bondage expert there, he had come as an enthusiastic guest to practise his art. It was a shame, then, that two of the performers were not quite burlesque but not quite fetish either.

       Kimera Hydra and Elyssia attempted to create a tense and erotic take on the traditional dance but it looked a little awkward and poorly timed. The bloody ‘rape’ of one performer by the other involving a long Japanese sword was a little much for me and was neither particularly shocking nor well choreographed, they were received well by the crowd but that may have had more to do with the nudity and pseudo-lesbian kissing involved, call me cynical. Dark Teaser, a solo artist, embodied more of the traditional burlesque attitude, with red lipstick, big eyes, pasties and curves. A live industrial ebm band added to the atmosphere but didn’t sit comfortably with the indulgent retro burlesque theme, add to that an authentic belly dancer and the evening had quite a schizophrenic feel. There was also an impromptu whipping of a man on behalf of his stag party – not part of my job description but the audience appeared to enjoy it.

      While Septembers’ Achtung! was the biggest yet it would improve if there was a definite theme to the evening or an obvious progression from traditional to more fetishistic as the night wore on, and if it is planned to retain the ‘fetish’ title, rather than it just being part of the dress code, more needs to be done. The highlight of the evening for me was speaking to the, initially wary, father of the stag and discovering he had enjoyed himself and was impressed by the level of diversity in our small city.