How did you become interested in burlesque?
I have always been a big fan of all things glamorous and have adored the movie Gypsy since childhood. But my route to burlesque was through comedy. I enjoy physical comedy - that was always my thing, finding the best way to use your body and facial expressions to tell a story. Without realising it, early acts I'd created were burlesque in nature - short, fun satirical pieces often taking something topical and shifting your perception of it. The more I learnt about burlesque the more I realised this was the perfect medium to explore my comedy on stage. Now I combine the two in many eclectic set pieces I have - like the stripping granny or love-struck suicide bomber, a disco-dancing storm trooper and let's not forget my Gary Glitter.
How did the idea of the Wam Bam Club start?
I was performing as part of a comedy double act. We were a Croatian magic act - yes, bizarre, I know - and gigging around lots of comedy clubs. I used to get frustrated by how they were run. I'm from a theatre background so I like lots of rehearsal and planning and these shows were chaos and confusion: no sense of a show as a whole and no variety, just comedian after comedian which was a bit dry. My friends were bored of hearing me complain about this. My mantra was "If I ran a club I'd do...", so they called my bluff and dared me to put my money where my mouth was, so to speak. And 'lo Wam Bam was born - on a boat in Battersea.
How do you go about devising a line-up for a show?
Wam Bam is all about putting on diverse high-quality acts which keep the audience on The Edge of their seat. You never know what is coming next. Most of my acts bridge quite a few genres of music-comedy-burlesque, so they make up a lively variety in performance. All acts have headline quality which makes the show so special. It's like, WAM, here is an amazing act and then BAM, here is another.
Are there any types of acts you simply won't consider?
Anything too grotesque as people are having dinner during the show. Anything which involves orifices is a no-no. And no more live animals. I learnt that one the hard way!
What would your dream line-up be?
Oh, gosh! Me headlining, of course, with Dita Von Teese picking up my discarded stockings, the Marx Brothers, Charlie Chaplin and maybe Louise Brooks doing a Charleston. You said 'dream', right?
And where would be your dream venue to perform?
I adore the Cafe de Paris. For so many years it was my dream venue and i still have to pinch myself when I perform to remind me that I'm not dreaming. I've actually made that dream come true.
The Wam Bam Club Cabaret Show opens every Saturday night at the Cafe de Paris.