A stroll along the seafront, down to Cheetahs Gym, inside, then even further down to the basement below, and we find Sugarkicks neo-burlesque, taboo performance troupe. They’re having a photo shoot for the promotion of their next event ‘Battle Of The Sexes’. Being held at Rialto Theatre, Brighton on Fri 13 Feb, it’s offering an alternative way to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

With a hedonistic, liberal, punk attitude towards the more traditional burlesque and pole dancing you’ve seen before, Sugarkicks promise to offer a fresher view on the erotic arts. “It’s called ‘Battle Of The Sexes’ because it’s nice, easy and rolls off the tongue,” Sugar Shane, the compere and organiser of the event, tells us. ”It’s more celebrating differences than pitching them against each other really, with a little bit of healthy competition thrown in. Because obviously, you know, we love the opposite sex, they’re great aren’t they?” Featuring two pole acts, two comedy acts, male and female burlesque dancers and a battle between a drag queen and drag king, it’s in celebration of the difference between sexes, rather than a real war between men and women.

Last time, after a hard fought battle the female performers stormed to victory and took the prestigious ‘Best Sex’ trophy home. As always, the boys disputed the result, so after months of spurious accusations of match fixing, bias, bribery and corruption, it was decided that the only option is to stage a rematch. Bursting back onto the Brighton underground scene, after an extended Christmas break, this show will prove to be either the ultimate aphrodisiac, or the ultimate distraction. It’s up to the audience to decide. A mix of music, pole, comedy, neo-burlesque and so much more to keep you entertained all night, even during the breaks there’s then performances in the bar. Sugarkicks Cocktail, or Sugarkicks Cuntail, it’s your choice.

Sugarkicks 2 by Toms Udris

This month sees them joined by pole acts from Will Tofts and Nora Mawla, comedy with Rebekka Turner and Jack Kristiansen, and something unique, mysterious and very special by Prince Phoenix and Sirona Thorneycroft. All of this is rounded off by Alabama Sunset and The Big Brad Wolf bringing you the ultimate neo-burlesque performances.

With Arther Shillin’ banging out the tunes to keep you moving, this will be a full on evening of the weird and rather wonderful. Normally Sugar Shane would host shows solo, but because of the nature of the event it might be a little unfair, so Leon Simmons will be co-host. Joining them, the lovely Ann T will serve as gender neutral referee. The audience, will be playing a part too…it’s them deciding the winner of each round…you might also get the chance to get involved!

Now they’re looking at some shows on bank holidays, and even something to tie in with the Star Wars release. “We already have a Princess Leia act ready to go, with a live lightsaber performance!” They’re also getting ready to film lots of promo videos and are producing a weekly news bulletin in their own special style. “We take it very seriously. We have the honour of our gender at stake so we don’t mess about with it.”

Sugarkicks 3 by Toms Udris

Sugarkicks ‘Battle Of The Sexes’ comes to Rialto Theatre, on Fri 13 Feb 2015

www.sugarkicks.co.uk

Words by John Bergin, image by Toms Udris