Preview: Miss Behave's Variety Nighty, Roundhouse, London
Tuesday 29 July 2008
It was after reading Memoirs of a Sword Swallower by Daniel P Mannix that the Bristol-born sword swallower Miss Behave (Amy Saunders) found her calling. Now, she is one of the few female sword-swallowers in the world and was a Guinness world record holder, having gulped six swords in 2000.
Natasha Veruschka is now the women's record-holder – she managed 13 swords at once in 2004 – but Miss Behave is undaunted. "I taught myself sword-swallowing 13 years ago," she says. She models herself on Betty Boop, wearing skin-tight rubber dresses and red high heels, and she describes her performance as "high camp clowning". She will also "twiddle a beautiful rose through my tongue" and "swallow a table leg" in her act.
"I use a 2ft-long Spanish court sword, and it passes down the esophagus into the stomach. It's the same route that food passes down," she says. "To learn sword-swallowing, you have to overcome the gag reflex. The body has a marvellous defence system that says 'no', because obviously it is not food and it is protecting itself. It takes a long time to get over that. It took me three years."
Now Miss Behave, who was MC of the Edinburgh hit show La Clique, is hosting a variety programme at the Roundhouse in London, which will be transformed into an intimate cabaret-style environment for the event.
The special guests will include Marjo, a member of the 7 Fingers acrobat team, who does an aerial and contortion number; Frank Sanazi, who sings in the style of Sinatra with a twist of Hitler; Kalki, a hula-hoop artist; the pyrotechnic Lucifire, who manipulates flame; Spymonkey, the physical-comedy stars who were head clowns for Cirque du Soleil's Zumanity for two years; and Bret Pfister from the Circus Knie in Germany, who does an aerial hoop act.
Thursday to 24 August (0844 482 8008)
tv Review: Miranda Hart and co deliver the festive goods
tvReview: Older generation get hot under the collar this Christmas
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
- 2 Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations
- 3 Sir Winston Churchill’s family begged him not to convert to Islam, letter reveals
- 4 AirAsia flight QZ8501 missing: Search for plane carrying 162 passengers from Indonesia to Singapore suspended overnight
- 5 Game of Thrones is most-pirated TV show of 2014
Downton Abbey Christmas special 2014, review: Love is everywhere, actually
The golden age of TV comedy is here
The Boy in the Dress, TV review: David Walliams' Boxing Day treat is a celebration of being different
From Marvel to Star Wars: The rise of cinema’s shared universes
Exodus: Gods and Kings banned in the UAE for 'religious mistakes'
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Millions of Britons struggling to feed themselves and facing malnourishment
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Nigel Farage: Ukip leader named 'Briton of the year' by The Times
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk