Santina Spitfire and The Honey Drops Deadliest Dames will be the closing headline act for the Limerick Fringe Festival 2017
Santina Spitfire Headlining Honey Drops Deadliest Dames Event at the 2017 Limerick Fringe Festival: Interview
by ilovelimerick correspondent Katie Glavin
The internationally award-winning Burlesque performer and Pin-Up model Santina Spitfire (Santina Lowe) will be the headline closing show for the 2017 Limerick Fringe Festival with her Honey Drops Deadliest Dames Event taking place at 9.30pm in Dolans Warehouse on Saturday, April 1.
The line-up for Santina Spitfire’s solo production features performers such as Bella a Go Go, Lycan Animal, Fifi la Roux, Miss Glo Allo, Poppa Frank, Sideshow Ramone, Pippy Clementine, Dollar Vito, Pavagrotty, Shir Madness, La Petite Mort and of course, Santina Spitfire herself who is Miss Burlesque Dublin 2016. This variety act features aerial hoop acts, opera, burlesque, freak show, a giant champagne glass and much more.
The highly acclaimed Santina Spitfire is a public figure who regularly features on the TV3 talk show Midday/Elaine and believes very strongly in body positivity and the benefits of burlesque and cabaret. Santina Spitfire spoke with us about how she got involved with Burlesque, what the Burlesque life has been like, and about her ongoing campaign to promote body positivity.
When and how did you first get involved in Burlesque and Cabaret?
“I have always been in love with all thing Rockabilly and vintage so when I saw the stunning Bella a Go Go performing at my friend’s wedding 8 years ago, I was transfixed. She watched me as I bumped, grinded, and shimmied on the dance floor and asked me would I try out for her Mexican Day of the Dead Show. I did and the rest is history. I was hooked.”
How has your life changed through being involved in Burlesque and Cabaret?
“Burlesque saved my life. It embraced me at a time where, through tough personal situations, my confidence and self-worth was at an all time low. I walked into my first show so sure they would all be goddesses with flawless figures and porcelain skin but I was so wrong. These ladies were goddesses but in all shapes, sizes, ages and absolutely perfect in every way. It taught me to love who I am and the skin I am in. This love for myself is what would be chanelled on the outside, that’s where my healing started.”
Do you feel that there is still a slight Taboo or controversy surrounding Burlesque and Cabaret? If so, how would you like to change these misconceptions?
“Oh definitely, and it’s all due to how a person feels about themselves and also to educating the masses. It has been a huge honour to have a regular slot on TV3’s Midday/Elaine show where I have had a very public opportunity to promote Irish Burlesque and to promote positive body image for men and women alike. Burlesque is about loving the skin you’re in. It’s ageless, genderless, timeless and full of glamour and pageantry. It allows both performer and audience to zone out for a few hours and forget the troubles of the world and just be fabulous.”
What was your reaction to being asked to perform at the Limerick Fringe Festival?
“OH WOW, what an honour. I was so chuffed to be chosen but when they told me my solo produced Burlesque & Cabaret Show, The Honey Drops Deadliest Dames Event was the headline, I was speechless. It’s such a fantastic opportunity to promote the amazing Burlesque and Cabaret scene along with the amazing talent Ireland has to offer. The Honey Drops Deadliest Dames Event is full of Aerial Hoop acts, Opera, Burlesque, Freak Show, a Giant Champagne Glass and more.”
what do you hope to bring to Limerick through your Burlesque and Cabaret production at the Limerick Fringe Festival?
“I hope to bring a blooming good time to Limerick! This is an escape from all the worries of the world for a few hours. People can leave on a high and hopefully have a better idea of what Burlesque is. I do hope it will be a positive insight into Burlesque scene for them and give folk who may have body issues a reason to doubt the negativity towards it. It might let people with body hang-ups have a new positive view on their own bodies.”
As someone who promotes positive body image, how does participating in Burlesque and Cabaret affect a person’s body image?
“I’m a human being, I will always have bad days. At my heaviest, I was 13 stone and now I am at 10 stone. How did that affect my Burlesque and Pin Up life? It didn’t. I won Miss Pin Up Milan at 13 stone and Miss Burlesque Dublin at 11 stone. That’s not what Burlesque is about. Burlesque has and always and will only, for me, be a source of positivity. If at any stage I may feel that someone is being a ‘Diva’ and trying to make you doubt yourself, in both my Burlesque or daytime life, I always straight away wish them good things because it’s their shortcomings and insecurities that are being reflected, it’s never you. This, however, is a rarity.”
What changes would you like to make to the Irish society through promoting body positivity?
“I would like to sit down with all these internet enforcers and public figure who promote ‘the perfect body’ or ‘perfect face’ or ‘perfect blah blah blah’ and hug them. I’d ask them, what has happened in their lives to be so unhappy in their hearts. If you are happy, healthy, respectful to yourself and others, then NEWSFLASH, you are perfect. I take what I do very seriously. I, as a public figure, know how my words can affect people but to date thought, from private messages or face to face encounters. I’ve been blessed all my encounters have been positive. I have had the honour of some wonderful, positive feedback and personal stories of people’s struggles and journeys and how I have helped even just a little. It what keeps me doing what I do.”
What is it that you hope to do in Canada to spread the word of Irish Burlesque and Cabaret?
“Burlesque is hard. It is full of highs and lows. I have a full-time day job and work as a performer and producer full time. I have sacrificed a lot for it and at times I have been burnt out but then I think about what the burlesque scene means to me and what it has done for me. I have amazing support from my partner and friends which is fantastic. It’s because of this I am able to quit my 14-year career as a Dental Nurse and leave Ireland to spread the word of the amazing Irish Burlesque scene. It is still in its infancy and growing beautifully and I am so very proud. I want to go to Canada to expand my career and experiences, learn more and hopefully bring an Irish element and performers to the incredible, well established Canadian scene.”
Get tickets to The Honey Drops Deadliest Dames Event here
Read more on the Limerick Fringe Festival 2017 here