Imogen Kelly

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Australia’s Queen of Burlesque, Imogen Kelly, will be taking to the stage to represent some of history’s greatest women and lampoon the rumours that surround them.

In Herstory, you can expect to see everything from a cake-sitting Queen Victoria, to a spoof of the famous burlesque martini glass routine featuring Margaret Thatcher and a giant cup of tea, and a bare-all take on Julia Gillard’s misogyny speech.

“This show is really focussing on the misrepresentation, the rumours and the ridicule that have been made to bring women down throughout history with a particular focus on leaders,” said Kelly. “I quite love all the characters, even those that are quite difficult.”

“It’s actually a reflection of us and how we thrive on these mistruths…

At the base of it all is a huge question – why do we just love dragging women through the coals?”

Kelly is a master of her craft, earning many accolades over her three decades in the burlesque game (crowned World Queen of Burlesque in 2012). With Herstory, audiences can expect plenty of brightness, joy and risqué frivolity along with a clever satirical take on the female experience.

It’s not the gowns, boas and immaculate makeup that draw Kelly to burlesque – don’t get her wrong, she “loves a big frock” – it’s the rebellion of it and the political origins.

“I love that it’s a female art form that women on the lower rungs of society created,” she said. “It means to satirise… part of the original reason for burlesque was to send up high society, or to send up those institutions of power and the upper echelons of society.” (AM)

June 14-15. The Factory Theatre, 105 Victoria Road, Marrickville. $28+b.f. Tickets & Info: www.factorytheatre.com.au