The Cheek of it - Hen Parties

Lady Cocks, hen parties and an experiment in celebration!

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An Experiment in Celebration

We love parties!! The Cheek of It! started as one massive, epic hen party. I had signed up to a project about creating an event that touched, moved and inspired me. Combining my theatre, burlesque and teaching experience I decided to base my event around a burlesque themed hen party and embark on an experiment in celebration, the celebration of women and how creating a bespoke reflection of the uniqueness of an individual woman could lead to an unforgettable day (and unbeknownst to me at that time, would make a huge difference to me and women all over the world).

The crazy thing is, when I committed to the project, I had no hen in mind, we were encouraged to pick a date for the event to take place and get started, trusting the right person would turn up. A bit like the film Field of Dreams, ‘build it and they will come’. It seemed mental, but I’m a sucker for tempting magic and miracles to turn up. So I threw common sense aside, picked my date and got planning. I chose the 27th July 2007, which gave me two months to make it all happen.

Lady Cock Hen’s take to the stage at The Royal Vauxhall Tavern, 2007

The Team

I chose my dream team, Sadie Cook, the co creator of Charles and Cook Theatre company to create props and costume for the hen and party, Josie Adams, filmmaker and dedicated fun instigator to document the event, Katie Etheridge, live art genius and choreographer extraordinaire, to create a routine for the hen and party to learn, Jula Mills to take pictures of the day, Tom Adams and Matthew Blacklock to entertain the party with cheeky charleston antics plus Tom also wrote a song for the hen.

The Brief

To find a woman willing to let us create a wonderful day through the medium of burlesque, dance, theatre and vintage love.

The Secret Brief

Inspired by information gleaned from the Maid of Honour, create a costume, dance routine, music, entertainment and food that reflects the hen and………to whisk the whole party off to an actual burlesque club that very night and have them perform the routine in front of a live audience!!!!!

Calamity Carys wows crowds at Bethnal Green with her Amazonian showgirls, 2007

The Woman,

Well I’d been planning this event for several weeks and I still had no takers, we might’ve had the team and the brief but we had no Hen to create it for. I was starting to feel a bit of a fool and was almost at the point of shelving it when, waddayouknow….. a total stranger called me up and asked if I was the girl doing bespoke burlesque hen parties and if I was, could I do one on the 27th July!!!!!! AMAZING, MAGIC AND MIRACLES ALL AROUND!! The hen was Charlotte and she loves victoriana and mini top hats and she was also about six months pregnant…….

We had so much fun creating her day, On the 27th July, she and 18 hens turned up to Principal Crumpets School for Girls ( that was my first burlesque name) and were adorned them with mini top hats and victoriana accesories, they learned classic burlesque moves, a showgirl routine, had a cheeky charleston show, listened to Tom’s Adams’s song written and performed especially for them and then we delivered the big surprise…. In 20 mins, carriages were arriving to take them all down to a famous burlesque club and they would be performing at 9pm that night. (Thank you Warren from Bethnal Green, it’s not easy convincing a club night to allow, a by now, pretty tipsy hen party to gate crash their cabaret night and perform in front of a paying audience)

From that moment on, it was a roller coaster of adrenaline, excitement and fear. 19 hens squashed into a little dressing room and then launched onto the same stage graced by the likes of Imodesty Blaize and Fancy Chance to debut their own performance, starring a very pregnant ShowHen. Would we pull it off, literally and actually??? Before we knew it the show was over and people were clapping, not in a weird, awkward way but wildly, joyfully clapping. The audience loved it, we loved it and the hen’s loved it!

“It was totally tailored to the Hen, completely unique and great fun”Clare Hallsworth
“The best Hen party I have ever been to” I absolutely loved the entire day”Amy Chiaverini
“A wonderful experience, totally different to anything I have ever done before”Charlotte Llewellyn

A Cheeky Advert Break 🙂 x

Fabulous Hen Parties With Sparkle

Whether you’re looking for a unique hen party or a super fun day out, The Cheek of it! burlesque hen parties are sure to bring the sparkle to your day

Find Out More?

We Think It’s All Over

And that was it, a success, hoorah, over. Except is wasn’t. News had spread, another Hen party for a woman called Vicky who loves peacocks. Then a birthday for Carys, who was all butterflies and amazonians and then there was the Dolly Parton Hen Party, the Disco Hens and the Take That obsessed hens. And then there were all the hen’s who had caught the burlesque bug and wanted to do it all over again. So I set up courses and workshops and convinced more and more club promoters to let us crash their nights until we were so big we needed our own night. Then came the graduates who set up their own nights and those who became teachers and burlesque creators, collaborators, producers, directors, craft makers and writers. Since that Summer’s day in 2007 the Cheek of It has taught over 5500 women from London to NYC from Italy to Zagreb. We’ve campaigned for women’s rights and raised money for wonderful charities like Orchid Project. We’ve become a whole community of women, inspired by not only burlesque but an ability to revel in our uniqueness, shining ourselves and encouraging others to do the same. AMAZING, MAGIC AND MIRACLES ALL AROUND.

Dolly Parton Hens, 2007

And we still love to put on a Hen Party class. A hen party is more than a celebration of an upcoming wedding it’s an excuse for women to come together, bond, giggle, be silly and revel in their awesomeness as individual women and as a sisterhood (read more on our love of sisterhood here) and we want in on that. It’s a massive honour for us to celebrate women by making not only the hen but the whole party feel special, inspired, empowered and lit up by their own cheeky and hilarious mischief.

Glamazon hens 2015

It was an amazing experience, my friends loved it as much as I did. We all left feeling confident and feminine, and had a very good laugh, especially after my unexpected tassels show :). Charlotte Dubois, Hen June 2015

But why wait until someone gets married, you can celebrate your combined awesomenss any time, from Birthdays to graduations to…. well who needs an excuse for a girls night??

40 and fabulous, 2016

From classic burlesque moves, the glove peel, stocking striptease, pin up poses, tasseling, a showgirl routine, glitter, bubbles and boa’s. We’ve held our party classes in a studios, farm houses, castles, festivals, roof gardens, we can even come to your very own lounge.
Take a look at our party classes here

AND……….

If you want a showgirl rush of our original parties we are delighted to announce that on the 2nd of April we are running our infamous Showgirl in a Day course, the homage to where it all began. Anyone can join with your friends or on your own.
Showgirl in a Day- A Fly by the Seat of Your Frilly Knickers Experience

Glitter and Good times, 2015

Field of Dreams

So it turns out that, the celebration in women experiment went pretty well. the craziness of creation sometimes requires you to declare what you want, take the actions and trust that the right person or opportunity will show up.
And because I love an 80’s movie fest here is a little bit of Field of Dreams to inspire you

And of course remember, you don’t need to book a class or party to come hang out with likeminded women. Follow us on social media (Twitter & Facebook ) to find out what shows and outing we have coming up and read more about the Cheekette community here.

Never too old to have a wiggle, Ladies of North London, 2015

Fabulous Hen Parties With Sparkle

Whether you’re looking for a unique hen party or a super fun day out, The Cheek of it! burlesque hen parties are sure to bring the sparkle to your day

Find Out More?

What’s your favourite thing about parties? We’d love to hear your thoughts too. Feel free to share them in the comments below…

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