Imogen Kelly: Herstory


Judith Wright Centre

6th – 7th April 2013


Reviewed by Xanthe Coward


Herstory is a fun, skilled and sexy hour of cheeky stories, dance, aerials, magic, interactive projections, puppetry and short films. From Marie Antoinette and Lady Diana, to Marlene Dietrich and The Virgin Queen, Imogen Kelly revels in retelling their iconic stories.



Imogen Kelly – Bio


Imogen Kelly is an Australian made striptease identified performance artist and is notoriously known as Australia’s Queen of Burlesque. She is also the World’s Reigning Queen of Burlesque 2012 after taking out the title at The Burlesque hall of Fame weekend in Las Vegas.


Imogen Kelly, Australian burlesque trail blazer, is an internationally renowned comedian, performance artist, aerialist and character actor. She is unusual in the burlesque world for her ability to work many different styles from classic, comedy, theatrical, grotesque and circus. Her aesthetic is highly visual and her costumes are professionally crafted artworks.


Imogen has completed a BFA in performance (COFA NSW, AUSTRALIA), a circus degree (ZACA ,UK) and a degree in film making (Sydney University, NSW) .  She is also the first Australian Burlesque striptease artist to be accepted, and graduate from the National Institute of Dramatic Arts (NIDA).


Imogen is a consummate performer of twenty years experience, a talented aerialist. She speaks three languages and has performed in 22 countries including The UK, Japan, India, Germany, France, Spain, Singapore, Noumea and the USA.


Among other claims to fame Imogen has been nominated for an Australian Music Industry Award ( (The ARIAs), was Miss Nude Entertainer of the Year in 2003 and  shares the world record for the world’s largest custard pie fight.



Imogen’s burlesque has graced the stages of The Sydney Opera House, La Clique , The Assembly Rooms Edinburgh, New York Burlesque Festival, Tease-o-rama and the Burlesque Hall of Fame. Imogen has been touring Australia with her award winning burlesque shows Tarnished (a shotgun marriage of circus and burlesque) and The Undressing Room (her one woman tour de force) for the past five years. Imogen was a regular guest on ABC TV’s ‘Sideshow where she became known as a national treasure for her satirical characters. She has also been featured in Madison fashion magazine and in the NSW Tourism campaign.


In 2007, Sydney Festival First Night the city was shut down so she could be wed in style outside Parliament house in a massive public wedding. In 2011 she stopped the city again with a live concert of her biggest acts at Festival first night in Hyde Park for hundreds of thousands of festivalgoers.


Imogen continues to provide archetypal portrayals of women and provocative whoopee.


Imogen’s new burlesque show, touring Australia in 2013, is called Herstory and it will be launched at The Famous Speigeltent , Melbourne, Australia in February 2013. She has been voted into the Top 50 burlesque performers in the world by 21st Century Burlesque Magazine for the last two years. Imogen was also honored to be accepted into the 2011 and 2012 Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend in Las Vegas.





Here’s the thing. You can’t beat good press. Imogen Kelly’s middle name might as well be Jesus because you’ll either believe the hype or not. I’ve believed it for years, and my faith was confirmed several years ago when I saw Kelly perform in Tarnished.


Kelly’s latest offering, Herstory, delivers a brand of Burlesque that celebrates the feminine, exploits the historical and combines classic, neo and aerial Burlesque into a sixty minute tongue-in-cheek show unlike any other.


“That was a GREAT show, wasn’t it? Wasn’t she GREAT?! She can do ANYTHING!” screeched a gaggle of girls making their exit from the cabaret tables at The Judy on Saturday night. It was a mixed crowd, reaffirming how quickly Burlesque is again gaining some street cred, attracting diverse audiences and delivering pure entertainment with broad appeal.


It’s fun, funny, cheeky and naughty enough to make you want to see a bit (or a lot) more.



1 Response to “Imogen Kelly: Herstory”

  1. July 25, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    Thanks for finally talking about >Imogen Kelly: Herstory | XS
    Entertainment <Loved it!

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