Saturday 22 April is a date you might want to put in your diary: Specifically 7.45pm at Manchester Art Gallery - because you have a unique opportunity to be part of something very special, as Ember Travixen (otherwise known as Selina Helliwell), together with her skulk of exceptionally gifted 'Vixens' will dazzle you in away not even the Pre-Raphaelites could.
And Mag North is going on the record to let you know that this incredible talent's star is definitely in the ascendency - and if you don't catch her show soon - then you might just 'kick yourself' (metaphorically. Obviously).
Whilst studying Creative & Professional Writing, Selina fell in love with theatre and performance. Her stage debut was at the Nottingham Playhouse in 2013 and she has since performed at the Royal Exchange, The Palace Theatre, Waterside Arts Centre, 3MT Venue, Soho Theatre, New Diorama and The Lowry. She also has screen experience including short films, commercials, music videos and digital theatre.
Selina started producing her own shows in 2018 after writing a piece of theatre titled ‘Burnout’. After she’d written it she went on to produce and perform in it (as part of an ensemble cast of 7). It was staged at The Three Minute Theatre, and went on to win a 'Highly Commended' Northern Soul Award in the 'Theatre Production of the Year' category, and was also shortlisted in the 'Fringe Production of the Year' category.
Buoyed by the success, Selina then developed her piece into a full-length, two-act play, which debuted at The King's Arms, Salford in October 2019 where it had a sell-out run, and was shortlisted for another award: 'Leading Live Event of the Year' at the 'This Is MCR' awards.
The success of Burnout, together with the satisfaction of creating her own work, was an inspiration. Selina went on to create/produce even more work - and her digital theatre production 'Fruit Salad' was nominated for an 'OffFest' Award in 2021. Her one-woman show 'The Formidable Lizzie Boone' won her a Manchester Fringe Award for 'Best New Producer 2021' - and she was also nominated for 'Best Actor' for her role as Lizzie. The show was also nominated for 'Best Drama' in the 2021 awards. In 2022, The Formidable Lizzie Boone won Chris on Theatre's 'Most Promising Debut' Award.
'The Formidable Lizzie Boone' toured the UK after its run at the Manchester Fringe Festival with shows in London, Brighton, Buxton, Sale, Salford and Halifax. And Lizzie Boone also marked Selina’s first step into her alter-ego ‘Ember Travixen’, as the show features a burlesque act - ‘Boone goes Boom’.
Ember has gone on to make appearances at numerous locations and cabarets, including Bad Bunny Burlesque at The Fitzgerald (Manchester), To Bee Presents at Lock91 (Manchester) and Karma Leon's Kabaret at Picture House Social (Sheffield).
Ember Travixen is not your regular burlesque performer, however. She takes the framework of classic, showgirl burlesque and showers it in her fiery embers of romance and emotion. Telling love stories, tales of heartbreak and filling the stage with flames of romance, Ember is an (ul)Travixen in her own unique way. Audiences should prepare to have their hearts broken and their souls stolen with Eber's firefox ways, in a whirlwind of drama, emotion, props and striptease.
In August 2022, Selina produced the very first 'Ember &the Vixens' cabaret, and the debut show was incredibly successful. Since its debut, she has curated a Christmas Show and a Valentine's Show, both of which sold-out. The Christmas show, Festive Foxes, was funded by Arts Council England. Because of the success, the cabaret nights are certain to continue to develop and thrive, showcasing cabaret artists every few months. With performances by Selina herself (Ember Travixen’s burlesque), as well as other burlesque performers, singers/musicians, and spoken word poets.
And the next cabaret is going to be the most spectacular one yet - in the beautiful Atrium at Manchester Art Gallery.
The theme of the evening on 22 April is “Vixen” and the central message of the night is around celebrating feminism and female empowerment - and the “Vixens” are inviting us to join them for a fun-filled evening. So if you're in the market for some Liberation, Empowerment and Sparkle, featuring Music, Burlesque and Spoken Word - CLICK HERE and get your tickets booked!
We're not sure there's abetter way to spend a Saturday night than enjoying a drink in this exclusive venue in the heart of Manchester City Centre, whilst jazz fills the air, glittering costumes are all a flair and showbiz seeps into every corner...
Doors open at 7pm and the bar will be open for your enjoyment!
Adults only, 18+
Saturday 22nd April, 7:45PM. Tickets
All Images: Darren McGinn Photography