This month @primpmycostume speaks with multi award-winning Burlesque star Fou Fou Kaboom. This cutie-pants with a filthy mind has been grabbing the attention of International audiences since winning both 2022’s Burlesque Idol competition and Oslo Burlesque Festival 2019’s Rising Star of the North, progressing on to co-found Nerdgasm Cabaret. She’s appeared at the Burlesque Hall of Fame Virtual Weekender, Hebden Bridge Burlesque Festival, the 100 Watt Club and India Starr’s Peacock Lounge.
Her acts often involve elements of flirty tomfoolery and include anything from fan dances with Minnie Mouse hands (troublesome for clothes removal), powder puff acts with accidental (insinuated!) substance misuse and stripteasing out of an egg (I mean, excellent). Safe to say, the content and style of her acts couldn’t be more up my boulevard – full of personality, clever costume surprises and utterly ridiculous. She is someone I’ve been keeping an eye on for a while now and I wanted to introduce her to you all...Charlotte Pacelli (CP): Your costumes play a strong part in your performance style. Can you tell us about how you’ve used costumes and props in the past to express an idea, or support the politics within your acts?
Fou Fou Kaboom (FFK): A lot of my acts revolve around conveying one main idea quickly so that I can then play with the expectations around that idea. Costuming is a huge part of that, as it’s usually the audience’s first introduction to the character you’re playing. In Powder (for which you did an incredible job rhinestoning my skirt), I want the audience to think I’m a cute lil fluffy ‘girlie girl’ so I can then subvert that in the second part of the act; so the costume is pink and white with oversized bows.
CP: You are most welcome; they were such fun cartoonish costume pieces to play with. Along that theme, let’s play the imaginary money game. If I randomly gave you £5000 (I’m not, soz!) to remake one of your current costumes, which one would you choose and how would you want it re-styled?
FFK: I really want to upgrade my Minnie Mouse costume to work with some new ideas I’ve got for the act, so I’d probably spend half the money on that and then half on something new and utterly ridiculous! I’ve always wanted a sparkly hot dog girl costume.
CP: Doesn’t everyone want a sparkly hot dog costume?! As your acts are often quite unexpected, I’m interested to know if you remember any particular reactions from individual audience members during a show?
FFK: Once I went to dab a forehead with my glove and the man opened his mouth like he wanted me to put the glove in, so I did - I really hope I interpreted him right!
CP: Look, if you’re in a cabaret show audience and you open your mouth near a performer, you’ve really only got yourself to blame for whatever comes next. Let’s talk about blingspirations. Describe the most impressive or unusual costume you have seen in the flesh. What about it made it stick in your mind?
FFK: Chris Oh always creates phenomenal sparkly looks! Chris has an Apollo costume which I’m obsessed with. I studied Ancient Greek at University so it appeals to me on all levels.
CP: Finally, costume battle smack down: crystals/ rhinestones vs. sequins vs. beads. Your thoughts, please?
To find out more about Fou Fou Kaboom, here’s where to start:
Website - FouFouKaboom.com
If you’ve been inspired by Fou Fou and would like to add some more bling and sparkle with crystals to your costumes, visit the CrystalParade.co.uk to purchase from a wide range of high-quality glass crystals from the Swarovski, Preciosa and Zodiac brands, both flatback and hotfix.
Photos © @capturedbycorinne/ @neilnezkendall/ @atomic.tangerine