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The Showzam! Ball began at 7.30pm and after I spent all afternoon preparing my Romantic-themed outfit, I set off to the Tower Ballroom. When we arrived, we travelled around the magnificent ballroom like children on an adventure, noticing all the detail of the architecture. An array of various Romantic-themed costumes awaited us, as the queue to get into The Tower became longer. Outfits with capes, wedding dresses, vintage clothes, elaborate hair styles, and a whole host of colourfully dressed guests were excited as they handed in their tickets. All the ladies were given a red carnation on entry to the Ballroom, a subtle gesture.

I found a table with a suitable view of the dance floor and stage and waited for the ball to begin. Some warm-up acts were balancing and tumbling to keep the audience amused and Jazz tracks such as Blueberry Hill by Fats Domino played to lure people to dance. The host for the evening was drag act Jonny Woo, who entered singing a version of ‘Hello, I Love You, Won’t You Tell Me Your Name’ and was dressed in white cigarette pants, and stilettos, a red cape and a large prosthetic, latex nose. Jonny launched into his OTT act, telling jokes and generally winding up the audience.

He introduced the first act, Starfiz, a female duo who were fantastic. The glamorous girls climb two lengths of red fabric, suspended from the ceiling, and proceeded to perform in the air, doing the splits and somersaults to a backdrop of sparkly stars and accompanied by the music of Lady Ga Ga, and Tony Bennett as well as the Moulin Rouge song, ‘Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend’. The synchronicity was amazing as they tumbled down the curtains.

Barnard, Hicks and Jones were next up with a most strange performance, involving a sheet with a red heart and a costume change behind the sheet. Talcum powder was flung and resulted in the men three recreating a classical Greek fountain. Different.

Magamus took to the floor next, with their act which involved a see-saw, tumbling, and intentionally shoddy outfits. They picked a girl from the audience, who was a great sport, to be involved with their act which eventually turned into a mild striptease with both of Magamus down to their (very) smalls, as they bounced on their see-saw to a backing track of ‘Cream’ by Prince. Jonny Woo then returned to the stage dressed as Mary Portas. Say no more. Jonny introduced the next act, burlesque performer Kitty Bang Bang, who was dressed in full glitzy underwear and launched into her striptease/fire-eating performance. This came to a crescendo after she set both her nipple tassels on fire and the men went wild.

A brief interlude came next as the band got ready. Then the Portuguese, Balkan-influenced Ska band, Kumpania Algazarra, took to the main stage and the audience took to the floor to dance the night away, which they did in fine style. After a rather frantic half hour of dancing, the crowd then committed to doing the conga, which was somewhat funny. Most of the guests had consumed their share of the wine and fizz to celebrate so the party was in full swing, accompanied by the fast-paced music from the band. The final DJ set by The Broken Hearts brought the Showzam! Ball to a close. A fun set of music ranging from Northern Soul to Motown and other dance classics were crowd pleasers and ‘The Locomotion’ brought about a sort of flashmob; the spontaneity was excellent. Great stuff.

 

Images by Dawn Mander of Two Old Birds Photography.

Reclaim Blackpool - Mapping Sexual Harrasment
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    Local artist, (painting, drawing, collage, and occasional photography, (for reference), of landscape, and abstract, in oil, acrylic, and any other medium which captures my imagination. Contributor, and writer for altBlackpool. Collector, of sometimes anything, but mostly pot, and ceramics.

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