Fire breathing, whisky soaked Kitty Bang Bang is on FIRE. Literally on fire as she performs at the Between The Sheets burlesque show with Miss Polly Rae at the London Wonderground.
Kitty is the type of lady that will blow you away with her amazing stunts and tricks. Master of her craft, badass on stage, the high-octane bombshell is fully loaded with nitro, enough nitro to make Vin Diesel look like he is driving a diesel engine, we managed to pull Kitty away from her busy schedule for this exclusive interview as we go Between The Sheets with Kitty Bang Bang.
Let’s get straight to business. What inspired you to become and dancer and how did you meet Miss Polly Rae?
I’ve always danced, since I was a little girl. It was originally my plan to be a ballet dancer, but had a fairly major knee injury when I was 11 which put paid to any ideas of being a ballerina. In hindsight, I think this was a lucky break. I’m not sure that the hard graft required by the ballet world would have been particularly enjoyable for a teenaged Bang Bang. I definitely got lazier as I got older…But I never stopped wanting to perform and when I discovered burlesque, I suddenly found a performance ‘home’.
I first met Miss Polly Rae at a burlesque competition called the Tournament of Tease at the Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club. I’d just moved to London and started to dabble in burlesque. Polly was already an established performer and I’d heard about the shows she put on. I was quite excited to meet her, she was so glamorous! We later became friends when I joined the original West End cast for her show ‘The Hurly Burly Show’. Polly is a gorgeous person, inside and out, and we’ve been working together ever since. She’s now one of my best friends and we’ve had some amazing adventures performing together.
After seeing you perform at Between The Sheets, I was literally amazed by your fire skills, you done things I haven’t seen any fire dancer do before. Tell us about your training regime and how long it has taken to master those skills of yours.
Ah thank you! Fire is one of the things that I really enjoy performing so it’s always really lovely when people compliment me on those skills. The person that originally inspired me to want to become a fire performer was an amazing lady called Lucifire. I’d seen people perform fire before and I’d even performed onstage with Motorhead in Germany, fire-breathing to their song ‘Ace Of Spades’, but Lucifire, for me, just brought something different to the table. She performs with such finesse and style. I decided that I wanted to work on my own performance and develop my own distinctive style of fire performance. I wanted to bring some elements of dance into the show because lots of fire artists are quite static. I don’t train per se, but I perform at least five fire shows a week and this keeps things sharp! If I think of a new trick then it takes me an hour or so to work out generally and then it’s just repetition to get it smooth and in my body. I want to keep getting better and mastering new skills. I love fire, it’s so much fun.
I was very excited about seeing you perform alongside Miss Polly Rae at between the sheets, without spoiling the surprise, tell us what we can expect to see.
This season’s Between The Sheets is, I think, the best version of the show yet. It’s got the gorgeous Miss Rae, it’s got in-your-face comedy, fire, a giant flaming absinthe glass, hot boys, hot girls, skilled circus, amazing tunes and if you sit close to the stage then you might get a little extra attention. It’s a campy, pop, feel good cabaret extravaganza!
Your bio read “Kitty Bang Bang is a whisky-soaked, fire-breathin’, chopper ridin’ Princess of British Burlesque” sounds spectacular Whats the best part about performing and being Kitty Bang Bang?
The very best part about being Kitty Bang Bang is the amazing places I’ve been lucky enough to be invited to perform in. The Seychelles, Dubai, America, Australia, New Zealand… I’ve visited every corner of Italy about ten times. Barcelona is a home away from home… I love to travel and meet new people. I’m always so well looked after and I’ve met so many people through performing that I now count as good friends.
Whats the worst part?
I don’t know if there is a worst part? I love my job. I’d quite like an unlimited budget to make enormous rhinestoned props, being a burlesque performer is actually an expensive business. I spend enough to buy a car on each new act!
I love the whole Absinth ending scene at Between The Sheets, how did you come up with the concept?
The Flaming Absinthe Glass show has been something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. Obviously the concept of bathing in a glass has been around for a while, but I wanted to do my own take on it. Something trashy, with a rocky backing track and flames! It took me a while to find somebody who would actually make the prop. It’s been a long time from the original idea to the finished concept. And I already want to change things about it. More flames essentially. I always want more flames!
I’m interested to know, whether you are always Kitty Bang Bang or is it your alter ego? If so what are you like when you are not kitty bang bang?
Kitty Bang Bang is me. I’m the same on and offstage really. I like trashy rock music and jumping around like an idiot. I’m not one of those polished vintage princesses. My style of performance is very much influenced by my personality. Kitty Bang Bang is just a better dressed version of me, with a soundtrack. It’s an excuse to buy rhinestones. ALL THE RHINESTONES. I’m obsessed.
I have been
stalking, perving looking at your photo’s. You are beautiful and attractive. I would expect that you get a lot of attention for both men and women, who do you attract the most?
HA! Thanks. I mean, people who come to burlesque shows generally come in couples. Or large groups of girls or gay guys. It’s mainly those people who come up after the show. I’ve had the occasional bottle of champagne sent backstage (which were very welcome!) but they’ve always been from girls or couples who enjoyed the show. I think that a burlesque show isn’t necessarily the place people go to hook up, there isn’t that kind of atmosphere generally. Post-show guys want to talk about the fire tricks and girls want to talk about the costumes!
For the singleton’s out there. If I randomly saw you, say on the Southbank chilling, looking at the sea and wanted to approach you, which of these approaches would work best on you?
1. The chat up line: I run over to an ice-cream van, purchase 2 ice creams and come of to you and say “You’re looking HOT literally, maybe licking this ice cream would cool you down?”
2. The simple approach: I come over to you and simply say hello and introduce myself and ask you your name…
I’m afraid neither would work, because I’m actually married. But pre-husband, the best tactic would have been to buy me a drink! An ice cream at a push but I don’t really like chat up lines. Just conversation is best. Maybe tell me you’ve got an amazing motorbike. I love talking about bikes!
OK, back to business, let’s talk beauty and fashion. What is your favourite place to shop for clothes and favourite place to shop for lingerie?
I’m completely obsessed with lingerie! I buy ridiculous amounts of it. I think that part of the reason that I’m actually a burlesque performer is so I have an excuse to buy more and more. I’ve got two chests of drawers full. Some of my favourite brands to buy from are Lascivious, Nichole de Carle, Bordelle, I.D. Sarrieri and of course Agent Provocateur. I get all of my corsets made by an amazing lady in Finland called Anni Hiro, who also makes custom lingerie. All of my rhinestone customizing is done by Adora Belle who makes the most beautiful crystal skin wear. Her pasties are little works of art. She’s an artist. It’s so important to work with people like Anni Hiro and Adora Belle, because then you get amazing bespoke costumes that nobody else will have, and that fit you like a glove. Anni just started a new corset commission for me and I’m so excited to see it!
For the ladies out there, give us a beauty tip on how you maintain your skin.
I wear quite heavy stage make up, so I try to go make up free when I’m not performing. I also bought a Clarisonic a while ago and I’m a huge fan. Other than that, I’m quite low maintenance. I occasionally drink slightly too much red wine and sleep in my make up too which is supposed to be terrible for your skin. Such a lady…
Do you have a gym routine to maintain your figure or is it all done via your performances?
I’m addicted to Barry’s Bootcamp. There are Barry’s gyms all over the world, and we have two in London. The trainers are amazing and the classes are really hardcore. Before I discovered Barry’s, I hadn’t trained for years. But I’ve been going for nearly two years now and I’m annoyed that I didn’t think about my fitness sooner! I like feeling strong and the cardio element of the classes means that I can throw myself into my burlesque shows with abandon. There is something almost cult like about Barry’s. Once you train there, all other gyms seem a bit pointless. I’m weirdly evangelical about Barry’s. You should all come and do a class with me!
Who’s your girl crush?
I noticed on twitter, you said that you do not like taking selfies and posted a selfie, which I personally thought was sexy. Why would a stunner such as yourself, not like taking a selfie or 2?
I’m not a huge fan of a selfie. I think that there are more interesting things in the world to take pictures of than my face. I find it funny when I look at somebody’s instagram account and it’s all selfie shots. I think that maybe they should turn the camera round and have a look at what is happening around them! I don’t mind a selfie or two, but it’s madness now. Why do people take selfies in the gym? It makes no sense to me!
Would you mind taking a selfie and send it over to me so that we can post it on our instagram and add it to this interview?
I’ll send a selfie if my eyeliner looks good tomorrow…
Let’s talk about sex. Some people would assume that being a burlesque performer means that you are probably a highly sexual person. Would you agree with this statement?
I think that because burlesque often contains elements of striptease, people often make that assumption. But I don’t think that it should be a blanket assumption, I find that kind of reductive. It’s like, for example, saying that all accountants are boring. Performers of all kinds, not just burlesque performers definitely have a certain level of confidence and obviously aren’t shy about their bodies. Confidence is sexy. But performers are often fairly self obsessed too and being overly concerned with oneself doesn’t exactly make for the best partner. We’re all different. In ‘Between The Sheets’ my shows are much sexier because that’s what the show calls for, it’s actually about sex. But generally, what I do is more comedic. I don’t think that I came to burlesque for the sex… I came for the dressing up box!
For women wanting to do burlesque classes. Do you think it helps women find or develop their sexuality?
I think that burlesque classes give women the space to reclaim their bodies. I remember that very first show that I did, I was terrified about stripping off in front of people. I dieted for weeks before. Now, I don’t give it a second thought. My body is just an element of the show, one of many things that make up the finished act. Burlesque taught me not to be afraid and to be comfortable in my skin. I think the movement coaching, and the all female environment can be a great place for women to gain confidence which may lead to them becoming more sexually confident. There is nothing wrong with being naked! People get weirdly hung up about it.
What advice would you give to women on exploring their sexuality?
I’ve said it a few times now, but it’s all about confidence I think. Ask for what you want. Try new things. Don’t care too much about what people might think of you. Be safe.
After seeing you perform at the London Wonderground the two ladies that attended with me immediately said that wish they could do some of your skills. Any tips for someone wanted to become a performer?
For anybody that wants to perform I’d say, go and study a skill. Be it dance, singing, clowning, acting… Find something you enjoy and get as good as you can at it. Don’t get onstage until you’re good at something. I think people are drawn to burlesque because anybody who has put a costume together and found a stage can do it. But all my favourite performers have at least one great skill and they’ve trained hard to become as good as possible at it. And then, when you get good, keep going! Try to get better. Sometimes it’s a difficult road, but you’ll never have a dull life.
Where else can we see you perform apart from the London Wonderground?
I perform regularly at a couple of London venues. Circus in Covent Garden and also in Polly Rae’s show at The Hippodrome Casino ‘Soho Burlesque Club’. Other than that, I tour extensively both in the UK and internationally. I’ve got some really exciting shows coming up that I can’t wait to announce.
And finally tell us something you have never said in any other interview.
You have to come and see us in Between The Sheets at The London Wonderground on 30th July, 9th September and 17th September! I know that’s kind of cheating but I’ve never said it in an interview before and I do REALLY want all your readers to come and see the show!
Book your tickets now at the LONDON WONDERGROUND