Time Out Sydney

The glamorous art of the tease is alive and well in Sin City

Burlesque comes in and out of fashion in Sin City: sometimes it seems that every event or show has a winking lass in feathers coquettishly disrobing, other times it retreats into the cabaret scene for a few years, biding its time. However, it never completely goes away, thanks to those who keep the sexy, sassy faith. Here are some of Time Out’s favourite nights and rooms for a cheeky thrill.


Cabaret venue Slide turns up the heat with a regular rotation of sexy neo-burlesque productions that slink and swing between aerial routines, erotic shadow projection and downright saucy striptease. Their roster of shows include Parisian-themed Risqué Revue, boylesque night Voyeur plus cabaret, contortion and trapeze in El’ Circo.

Dr Sketchy's

Held every second Tuesday, Dr Sketchy’s is a life drawing class with a twist: instead of nudes, all models are costumed burlesque artists. There’s no teacher but there is an MC and a show at halftime.

The Vanguard

Since new management breathed life into the venerable King Street venue, tone of the big draws have been the regular burlesque seasons. Inventive, unusual and often hilarious (their Star Wars Burlesque seasons have consistently sold out months in advance), it’s Sydney’s premier place for sexiness with a smile.

Crystal Boudoir

This long-running weekly show reflects its location: the swanky GPO Crystal Bar in Martin Place. Suits and cocktails set the tone for the show, which is more contemporary dance than retro burlesque. The dinner packages are well worth exploring too: it’s a very classy night out.

Black Cherry

A quarterly gathering place for everything in the rock’n’roll subculture, Black Cherry Club combines bands and DJs with some burlesque performances. The music ranges from punk and garage to swing, rockabilly or ska – drawing an equally diverse crowd.

Q Bar

This Darlinghurst room has never wavered in its support of the artform. They love a theme night and aren’t afraid to be a bit more bold and theatrical than your average fans ’n’ pasties show. Feel free to dress to the theme. And don’t heckle the MC unless you want to be providing a lot of the night’s entertainment at your own expense.

Updated on 9 Jul 2015.

By Erin Moy   |   Photos by Christopher Thomas
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