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Promoter Focus: Gilded Merkin

10 June 14 words: Promoter Focus

We have a natter with the lady behind the burlesque and cabaret night taking Nottingham by storm

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Genre: Burlesque/Cabaret/Variety

Venues: The Glee Club in Nottingham and Déda in Derby.

Who else helps you run the nights: I’ve got a fantastic bunch of people who work on the shows with me. Stage maids, sound guys, venue staff, and my co-producer for Dr Sketchy’s is Charlotte Thomson-Morley. We’re a well-oiled machine.

Ten words that sum up the events you put on: The most amazing burlesque and cabaret spectacle in the city.

Describe the average punter at your nights: There’s nothing average about our punters. Eighteen to eighty year olds, men, women and everything in between. We don’t have a dress code but we do have prizes from our sponsor Boo Boo Kitty Couture for the best dressed. People come dressed in vintage, modern fashion, steampunk, fancy dress and all sorts.

Which local act has gone down best with your crowd and why? Carrie-Ann, the Dita Von Teese tribute act, is from Nottingham. She performed in her giant martini glass and had a little playful splash with the front row.

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Which non-local act would you bring back again? I’m exceptionally picky about who I book. I might as well just list everyone I’ve ever booked. Anna Fur Laxis, Lada Redstar, Missy Malone, Fancy Chance, Joe Black and Kiki Lovechild are a few absolute must haves.

If you could get a celebrity compere who would you choose and why? Lily Savage. She’d be amazing and I know Paul O’Grady loves burlesque.

Which booze sells best at your events? I don’t know, I never have time to go to the bar. I see a lot of champagne buckets and people holding fancy cocktails. I’ll have a French Martini, please.

Tell us a crazy story that has happened at your events: We’ve had a model nearly pass out at Dr Sketchy’s because of the hot lights, costume “mishaps” at Gilded Merkin, where the audience saw more than they’d paid for and one performer who almost had to be ripped out of her dress because a zip got stuck.

If you weren’t a promoter what would you have ended up doing? I’d still be performing. I’d like to think if I needed another job it would be doing something fun and creative.

What other events in Nottingham do you love? I don’t get the chance to go out much really. Hoochie Coochie at Spanky Van Dykes is a fun night out if you like live music. And I love going to comedy nights at Glee Club, as if I wasn’t there enough already!

What have you got coming up in the next few months? Dr Sketchy’s is on every two months, the next one is 14 June. The Gilded Merkin is on 1 June and is a quarterly event. La Dé Da Cabaret in Derby launches on 20 June with a teaser show and will be every two months from October.

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