Hebden Bridge Burlesque Festival line-up revealed

Lady Wildflower and Heidi Bang Tidy. Producers of Hebden Bridge Burlesque Festival. image by Le Keux
Lady Wildflower and Heidi Bang Tidy. Producers of Hebden Bridge Burlesque Festival. image by Le Keux

Burlesque performers and other entertainers will flock to the Calder Valley in May for the sixth annual Hebden Bridge Burlesque Festival.

The four day event will attract visitors from far and wide to venues across the valley and over the years it has become one of the biggest events of it's kind in Europe.

Sweetpea. Image by Wijadi Jodi.

Sweetpea. Image by Wijadi Jodi.

The festival opens on Thursday 3 May with the return of the award-nominated Legend in the making newcomers' competition at The Little Theatre, Hebden Bridge and will feature up-and-coming new performers on the Burlesque stage. There will also be performances from special guest Bonnie Boux, winner of Legend in the Making 2017, and guest judge, international showgirl, Pinky Deville.

A number of events will take place on Friday 4 May including a brand new show celebrating the best in geek-themed burlesque and cabaret. Diversitease will also be making a return due to popular demand.

Saturday 5 May will feature a number of workshops at the Calderdale Yoga Centre including Burlesque for Beginners, run by festival organiser Lady Wildflower, and Dance for not dancers with Rubyy Jones.

The festival's main event is the Burlesque Festival Gala which will take place at Todmorden Hippodrome. This year's Gala will be hosted by seasoned comic, Stage Door Johnny, with back-to-back headline acts.

Bettsie Bon Bon. Image by Veronika Marx.

Bettsie Bon Bon. Image by Veronika Marx.

New for 2018 on Sunday 6 May will be the Hebden Bridge Burlesque Festival Fringe at Hebden Bridge Town Hall. The four hour long show will be packed with comedy, magic and more.

One of the organisers of the event, Heidi Bang Tidy, said: "This year's Festival builds on the success of the last five years, some performers back by popular demand as well as some new faces and new shows. As always, the rosta of performers is world class - with diversity at the heart of our programming.

"We pride ourselves on being THE diversity Festival, with a high percentage of performers who identify as Performers of Colour, LGBTQT, or as having disabilities. We have classic burlesque performers appearing alongside magicians, mime artists, comedy performers, magicians and musicians and a lot more besides.

"I am most excited for our panel discussion this year - following the success of our panel discussion with leading academics from the field of performance study, we are hosting another free panel discussion, this time around the theme of diversity and inclusivity in Burlesque."

Lady Wildflower, also an organiser of the event, said: "Every year people tell us that they love the variety on offer at the Festival. It's something we are really proud of.

"One of the biggest scoops for this year's event for me is Sweetpea - who we are flying in from the USA to perform exclusively at HBBF. I saw her perform this year at New York Burlesque Festival and actually called Heidi from the foyer to tell her we HAD to bring her to the UK!

"We also have a number of new events this year - a Nerdlesque to celebrate May the Fourth, a show with Burlesque performed with a live four-piece jazz rock band and for the first time ever, a Festival Fringe at Hebden Bridge Town Hall - our pick of the finest 60 minute shows from the world of cabaret and vaudeville, including - for the first time ever - a full magic show, suitable for all the family."

For more information on the festival or to book tickets visit www.hebdenbridgeburlesquefestival.co.uk