Chaz Royal’s ten-year anniversary
The Canadian cabaret producer celebrates a decade of decadence
In 2002, Canadian Mark Henderson hit upon a new name and a new business when he began producing burlesque shows as Chaz Royal. He’s been one of the international scene’s leading showmakers ever since, with events ranging from London Burlesque Week to this year’s Edinburgh run of ‘Sexy Circus Sideshow’. Ahead of his ten-year anniversary shows at Bush Hall, Ben Walters asked Chaz to plunder his scrapbook for some key moments in his journey…
‘The Ramones of burlesque’, 2002
‘My first introduction to live burlesque was working with the Fluffgirl Burlesque Society, a troupe of girls from Vancouver, Canada. I was living in Montreal in 2002 when I started going by the name Chaz Royal and set out to book a North American tour for the show. This poster was for the Montreal leg. The first week was in the United States, which was mostly sold out, then we came up to Canada.
‘As far as I know, this was one of Montreal’s first new burlesque shows in decades. The girls – along with two-piece rockabilly band Bloodshot Bill and infamous drag queen Plastique Patrick – played their hearts out to a small group of 60 patrons. The next time we came to Montreal we nabbed the front cover of the local arts paper and sold out a 400-capacity venue. The Fluffgirls were like the Ramones of burlesque. We paved the way.’