Burlseque Brunch: Down the Rabbit Hole
Article by Artemis Seven, photography by Daniel Evans
If you’re going to go down the rabbit hole, there’s no better time than 11am on a Sunday. Time may just be a construct, but so is brunch, and the last time I got a side of boob with the concept of linear time I was too young to know a darker time was coming.
Burlesque Brunch answers the existential question:
“I suppose I ought to eat or drink something or other; but the great question is ‘What?’( —Chapter 4, The Rabbit Sends in a Little Bill) & with a mimosa or OJ on arrival, a delicious High Tea courtesy of Capital Roast and a range of entertainment from performances to games -you will be free of that choice. As someone who panics and invariably parks across two spots if there’s more than one car spot available (don’t worry, I fix it you sneaky narc) I appreciate a beautiful display of High Tea sweets on each table, and distractions on stage for me to weasel away 6 of the same one when no one is looking.
PS. Dietary requirements can be allocated for!
Let me speak to you about the food - an arguably vital part of brunch. The selection of sweet treats appeared straight out of a Wonderland garden party . Macarons are a crowd favourite, but my favourite was the tiny cheesecakes. Perhaps miniature cheesecakes are normal high tea fare but I chose to imagine I was Alice having made the mistake of growing too large just before a dinner party.
Let me give you another pro social tip - nestled in Flazeda Hub, it’s the perfect outing to mix your extroverted & introverted mates - whether you’re looking forward to your conversation being interrupted by dancing or your dancing being interrupted by conversation - you will get your wish. There are no losers at Burlesque Brunch - just winners suddenly assailed by glitz, glamour, flesh and absurdity. Plus, there’s a feather tree in the corner so you’re guaranteed to leave with a set of selfies that say “I’m busier being less busy than you”, which is the ultimate flex in these trying times.
It’s also a perfect opportunity to invite your burlesque-virgin mate or family member with optimal time to coach them in between acts. There’s bingo, song snippet games, trivia - and if you find it awakens something within you there’s a full roster of dance classes right there at Flazeda Hub. It’s time to convert your Grandma into a Grandmilf, and Flazeda can help you*
And of course whether you like your poison poisonous or virginal, Bastian behind the bar knows how to whip up the kind of drink that had me internally screaming like Rebelle’s Red Queen “DWINK DWINK”. Instead, I went for a gin and tonic which I requested as an “angry drunk water” because I am a brat who routinely replaces vocabulary in my own head to feel a sense of power (I’m too shy to jaywalk, so I need this power trip). Bastian understood my request, which is a testament once again to their Bar Butch glory.
Now, let us discuss the acts -
Rebelle Velveteen began as Alice - bouncy and cute and adorable and surrounded in a halo of blonde curls, and giving in to a giant piece of cake, the 2nd thing on the stage screaming “Eat me”. Transforming into the Cheshire cat upon snacking, she had us all on board for a day of brunching in Wonderland. Cheeky and enlivening, it was the perfect start to the day and made us all weirdly attracted to the Cheshire cat.
TIME FOR TEA
As is customary at a Burlesque Brunch, tea was spilled, from a giant teabag onto Jazida herself. Frankly, we all could’ve used a shower after watching Jazida balance a full cup of tea - ON HER HEAD- all while remaining entirely graceful. It was a bitter pill to swallow as someone who manages to spill any hot beverage placed in my hands but if a bitter pill comes with a side of tassel twirling I’ll take it no questions asked. Bonus backstage moment - Jazida did not have a towel backstage and so ended up tea-staining a white sheet to get dry like some kind of dramatic Grecian goddess.
THE MARCH HARE
Then it was my turn - The March Hare. The March Hare knows how to brunch, as evidenced by their philosophy of setting the bar low and setting your indulgence levels high :
“"Take some more tea,“ the March Hare said to Alice, very earnestly. "I’ve had nothing yet,” Alice replied in an offended tone, “so I can’t take more.” “You mean you can’t take less,” said the Hatter: “It’s very easy to take more than nothing.” — (1865 Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, ch.7)
And take more than nothing I did, stealing away a plate of treats during my act as an “offering” to the March Hare, unofficial brunch deity. My thievery aside - with a trap remix, scythe arms and a hare’s head that steals your soul through it’s eyeballs - it was an important reminder that brunch is SERIOUS BUSINESS.
Jazida then took us through the rabbit hole itself, curling around the lyra hoop like her body had forgotten to adhere to the rules of normal human limitations. If you’ve always wished you could have brunch with your therapist, and perhaps that your therapist did slightly more body hypnosis therapy (Look into my LINES, they’d say, turning into a spiral) I’d say this is a pretty good substitute. Do you have any idea how good it feels to freely chow down on brunch while watching someone doing the ab equivalent of a marathon??? Given that Jazida’s brand new solo show Exotic Hynotica comes out FEB (CHECK DATES) I find myself SUSPICIOUS of this act. So suspicious I must watch the recording on repeat.
The Red queen famously claimed “It is better to be feared than loved”, but Rebelle’s Red queen never has to choose. Dripping in rhinestoned red, we were gasping at the beauty, long limbs and curves like the stripes of danger on a snake - and then gasping at her effortless recline on a BED OF NAILS. Rebelle’s red queen was so natural I found myself side-eyeing her backstage later. Was she going to shank us with a hair pin? Drink our blood? And would I say “Thankyou” or “Thanks your highness” when she did? I have survived but I do feel like a little bitch any time I sit on a normal chair now.
To wrap the festivities, a Very Merry Unbirthday was had with surprises for each guest and sadly, I had to leave the brilliantly lit and sound-scaped Hub (shoutout to Cherry Bomb who never misses the perfect sound effect).
The whole team at Flazeda Hub is glorious and a testament to owner Jazida’s efforts to create a creative hub that invites everyone to be their most decadent, debaucherous self.
If that sounds good to you - Burlesque Brunch is returning on Sunday the 23rd of January - with a Rocky Horror theme.
Tickets are available now on the Flazeda Hub webstore, so make sure you get your mates together for next-level daytime debauchery.
*Not an official slogan, but I am campaigning every day.