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Cannibal Burlesque Concept

Precursor: I am a burlesque & circus performer. This is a write up of a number and an attempt to describe a visual media in words. I am not a great writer.

Although not graphic there will be reference to gore ideas in here.

As I mentioned, our local burlesque troupe is trying a darkness theme for their fall show. Which was a perfect opportunity to do my cannibal number that has been rolling around in my brain for the past year. This was prompted from the producer saying literally, “You could eat a sandwich on stage and if it was compelling enough we would put it on stage.” I took that idea, sat on a shark, grabbed a flaming hack saw and JUMPED.


This song is the obvious choice. Its fun and trashy with definite moments that can be used to tell a story or set a scene. A little too on the nose? Perhaps but you usually chose music that is relevant to the story or theme you are trying to convey. If there is an obvious song I will take it. Plus I feel like I and many burlesque performers fall into the dark and sad or just moody music and forget to have fun. This song is dark but fun!

The story is pretty loose, a group of cannibals are seeking sustenance destroy a lot of food and eventually get to consume a person. Its not fulled...fleshed (ha pun)... out yet because I have decided to er... table it for another day as I have a bunch of other projects currently in play. But I do have specific scenes I know I want in the number:

  • A table filled with foods (some real and some fake) including lemon curd dyed red filled cupcakes. Everyone is sitting down at the table when the music starts, the initial notes are done, action will start and the destruction of the banquet occurs.
  • When the realization there everything on the table is normal food they will turn to the audience and moving towards them because they are food.
  • At some point, I would love to have a “Carrie” moment with “blood” filled water bottles, pouring them all over the girls and licking the girl covered in the fluids.
  • During the bridge an impeccably dressed waiter will come out with a tray of phallic sandwiches. They will literally start eating them, again messily and destroying them.
  • When again, the frustration of not getting flesh occurs, the girls will then attack the waiter and destroy him.
  • Not sure if or when peeling of clothing will occur as of yet.

Costuming for this one is a bit tricky - I am of two minds. Version one is directly inspired by that era of Kesha Music - lots of neon, glitter & ripped of clothing. These costumes will be created through thrift stores and the sale section of F21.

Inspiration for a costume but much cheaper
Inspo 2

The second idea- which I love - is have all the girls dressed to the nines. Long prom like dresses, fake fur stoles, hair all done in updos and dripping in jewels. I think the contrast of the fine clothing and the rabid behavior would be amazing. My concern would be we would need at least 3 versions of the costume for each performer since the piece is so messy.

Sadly this number is not coming to fruition at this time. My schedule is stuffed - I have another large group number, my solos, shows with other stages, my troupe, and more occurring. I do intend to make this piece happen in the future, but not this season. I want time to develop the story, collaborate with the other interested performers, and learn how to make filled cupcakes without other deadlines hanging over my head.


Suggestions? Ideas? Questions about burlesque? Feel free to submit your constructive criticism, custom etc etc!

Thanks for reading!

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