UP LATE & UNCUT Darling dollar bills y’all

If you’ve ever had the overwhelming urge to throw dollar bills at showgirls, FRINGE WORLD’s Up Late & Uncut will give you the perfect opportunity to do just that on Tuesday, February 12 every night through to Saturday, February 16 at the Mezzanine Bar of the Cheeky Sparrow. Sydney-based burlesque producer, Memphis Mae, alongside with Porcelain Alice have co-produced a highly interactive vintage strip tease that features performers making their way through the audience to collect ‘darling dollar’ tips. Mae caught up with CHERYL LIM to chat about Up Late & Uncut as well as the inspiration behind the show.

What made you decide to become a burlesque performer and how did you learn the art of burlesque?

I have always been an exhibitionist so naturally I was going to end up on stage some way or another. I came across the burlesque scene by accident when I met a performer at a house party; after riffling through her costumes I demanded she tell me the ways of the naked world! 
I had also seen burlesque at a few live music shows at the ‘Vanguard’ Newtown Sydney and adored it. I did a couple of burlesque dance classes but then continued to be as stubborn as ever and took it into my own hands from there.

Name a burlesque performer who has been an inspiration to you and why?

There are many performers from all over the world who I gather inspiration from such as Medianoche, Lolo Brow and Raquel Reed. These ladies are fabulous but I tell you, nothing beats our Australian performers. I have fallen head over heels for performers like Kelly Ann Doll, Zelia Rose, Lyra La Belle, Bella Louche, Mac Galleon, Lillian Starr & Imogen Kelly. The reason is simple: they are pushing boundaries, they are making burlesque more than just a costume and a prop, they are making a statement and not being ashamed or afraid.

How has performing burlesque given you a sense of female empowerment?

The sense of empowerment I feel from burlesque comes from the people that surround me, the strong and creative women I work with. An industry that is run mostly by women, with women and for women. A creative safe space for us to let our freak flag fly!

Your show, Up Late & Uncut will encourage audience members to throw ‘Darling Dollar notes’ at the performers. What made you come up with the concept for the show and what has been the audience response so far?

The show concept was created by myself and co-creator/producer Porcelain Alice. We wanted to run a show that took back the strip club and made it a space where women go further to understand each other and teach people how to interact with us in a safe and respectful way. As the audience are encouraged to tip all of the performers with Darling Dollars they are told in the opening line, “If you touch my girls inappropriately you will be kicked the fuck out!”. It is a vintage strip tease club for men and women to enjoy, they performers make their way around the room and climb on tables to interact with out audience. It is manic and the audience love it!

I can imagine that it takes a lot of talent to put together a show like this! Who else is performing alongside with you at Up Late & Uncut?

Its is hard work to produce any show and I consider myself very luck to be working along side Porcelain Alice who is a wiz at production and performance.
Each show we run we have different performers, especially when we take the show to different states we love to include local performers.

What makes Up Late & Uncut different to other burlesque shows? What can audiences expect at the Mezzanine Bar of The Cheeky Sparrow?

Up Late & Uncut is so very, very different to any other burlesque, which was our plan. As I host the show I will talk over the burlesque performances as almost a commentary and generally the girls will respond by yelling at me. The girls will be on your table and trying to get those Darling Dollars from you! Expect debauchery, madness, insane amount of laughs and a whole lot of naked ladies!