Fabulous on a budget by Madelaine Empson
The Great DIY BurlesKiwi is an annual event that challenges competitors from all over the country to bring an award-winning burlesque performance to the stage for under $100. The competition was created to showcase the ingenuity and outrageous nature of two of Wellington’s favourite performers, Debbie Eve and Botanica. With Botanica stepping down, taking her place as co-producer is Maryanne Cathro – aka Constance Craving, who will MC this year’s competition on the 5th of June at The Fringe Bar.
The seventh iteration of the Great DIY BurlesKiwi will feature 14 performances from 12 contestants. Entering this year is Flirtini and Miss D’Lushious from Hamilton; Lolly Lust and Tanya from Tauranga; Staples from Dunedin; Fanny McBangers and Pandora Cherie [pictured] from Auckland; Ruby Redcase from Bay of Plenty; and Wellington’s own Dahlia Delight, Mistress Purrs, and Evie Airy.
Joining the judging panel of Rachel Rouge, Sadie von Scrumptious, and Breathless La Belle, who will take the stage on the night, is 2020’s winner Ginger Velour. Catch her winning routine based on a piñata that had the audience in stitches.
While she isn’t competing this year, 2020’s runner-up Viola Nightshade has entered almost every Great DIY BurlesKiwi. She loves it for the way it pushes artists to get creative and disrupts the narrative that you have to spend a lot of money to be successful in the performing arts world.
“I love being sustainable with my outlandish costumes and finding bits and bobs that would otherwise be thrown away”, she says. “I especially love going to the tip shop and turning something there into a shiny fantasy. The ultimate of one man’s trash is another’s treasure.”