Burlesque gets residents hot under the collar

SAUCY burlesque evenings at a bangers and mash restaurant in Suffolk have got a residents’ association hot under the collar.

Bang Bangs Wine Bar and Restaurant in Hatter Street, Bury St Edmunds, started staging special burlesque nights in May.

As part of the monthly events, diners can be entertained by dancers as well as getting dressed up and involved themselves.

But the popular nights have drawn criticism from residents living nearby.

Andrew Hinchley, of the Churchgate Area Association, said members of the group had concerns about activities at the nights.

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“We recognise they are doing their best to drum up business from all possible sources,” he said. “But we are slightly concerned they are operating outside their licence.”

Charlie Knight, one of the two owners of the business, said burlesque was about entertainment rather than titillation.

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“Burlesque is one of the oldest forms of performance in the World,” she said. “The meaning of the word is to make fun of a serious subject.

“It is a strip tease, but it’s not about sexual arousal. It’s about comedy.”

Ms Knight, 29, said the restaurant’s licence, granted by St Edmundsbury Borough Council last year, covered the entertainment at the venue.

“As the burlesque nights are not a sexual performance, there is no need for a different licence,” she said. “We are not doing anything wrong or causing trouble.”

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