Sara Colohan interviews Banbury Cross, Burlesque star.

Banbury Cross: Cirque Du Cabaret InterviewBanbury Cross: Cirque Du Cabaret Interview

Banbury Cross is one of the most recognised and significant performers in contemporary burlesque. She exploded onto the London scene in 2009 and has enjoyed global recognition and praise since the 'Bullet Proof Blonde' brand took to the stage. From May 31st, she headlines Cirque du Cabaret's string of shows as part of the London Wonderground festival. London Calling caught up with her to find out what makes this particular bombshell tick!
London Calling: How did the character of Banbury Cross come about?
BC: Completely by accident, It was at a time in my life where I wasn't sure of my direction. Having graduated with a Theatre degree that was the path that I was trying to force myself down. Burlesque came along and swept me off my feet quite unexpectedly and I have never looked back. The onstage character itself is a mash-up of Marilyn, Mae West and Dixie Evans. 
LC: Where's the most amazing place you've performed?
BC: Anywhere in the US is pretty spectacular to perform at, The stages are HUGE, the crowds are rowdy and the performers are so supportive and complimentary! I hope to spend a lot more time there in the near future. The vintage Spiegeltent in the round is also a favourite.
LC: You are a vintage pin up model and burlesque star - surely you have some time out from the glamorous image . Do you ever have a day off lounging in a track suit?
BC: I’ll dispel the myth, yeah I spend the majority of my time in jeans and a t-shirt, or workout clothes, especially since it's been a long winter and I don't fancy dolling up. In the summer, though, I love to 'pin-up'… Most of my vintage and sex kitten wardrobe was made to be worn in the sun! 
LC: What music makes you want to dance?
BC: Anything and everything! From 20’s jazz, classical opera, dub step, metal, rockabilly, I’m not fussy. I even dance in silence wink
LC: I'm sure you have influences - and it’s impossible not to recognise your remarkable resemblance to Marilyn Monroe - but in the world of burlesque is there a living favourite star you admire?
BC: Kitten Deville, Dixie Evans and Catherine D'lish (to name a few). I'm lucky that so many legends from the 50s are still alive and I have had the pleasure of meeting them and talking to them about the heyday of striptease! 
LC: There's a real synergy between cocktail culture and burlesque and I’m sure you have a favourite but if LC was going to make a 'Banbury Cross special' what would it be?
BC: I suppose anything topped off with Champagne in it is a winner, not least because it’s my signature act– I strip and cover myself with champagne!  I also LOVE tequila so perhaps a variation on the margarita! 
LC: You are really going global in the last couple of years- What's next for you?
BC: I am incredibly honoured to have performed at several prestigious burlesque events including the fantastic New Orleans Queen Of Burlesque pageant and Viva Las Vegas. I have developed a little fan base state side now and hope that I keep getting invited back as it is such an exciting scene and I’m incredibly thrilled to have been invited into it. I’ve also been performing with Cirque du Cabaret since the start of my career so it’s nice to be coming back as one of their finale acts in the Spiegeltent this year.
LC: What is your most treasured possession?
BC: My engagement ring, a deco inspired platinum set 2 carat emerald and diamonds. It's perfect and I couldn't be more proud to wear it on my finger (though it’s currently being repaired so I feel a little, if not MORE, naked) 
Burlesque performer Banbury Cross stars in a series of Cirque du Cabaret shows on the Southbank this summer. See her perform with Cirque du Cabaret HERE
TICKETS are available here for performance dates on May 31st, June 28th, July 19th, Sept 20th and 28th:  Prices range from £17.50 EARLY BIRD, £19.50 and £22 for wonderseats
To enter our competition to win tickets to the show on May 31st and to meet Banbury herself then please click here.