BURLESQUE is an artform stretching far beyond striptease, and its Bridgwater champion is inviting the town to step into its glamorous world in June.

Lianne Vessier, burlesque aficionado, events organiser and owner of the Shhh!

High Street shop, has lassoed top Dita Von Teese imitator Carrie Ann O’Dell, below, for a stylish night of variety at 7.30pm on Saturday, June 28.

Tickets are now on sale for the town hall event that Lianne hopes will put Bridgwater on the burlesque map.

Lianne tells the Mercury: “Carrie’s the only Dita tribute in the world. She has performed everywhere, including Abu Dhabi, and is a very classic showgirl with a modern edge.”

Joining Carrie is Bridgwater’s Viva La Diva Showgirls, Sophia St. Villier, Eliza De Lite and Lady Lolly Rouge.

For a town rich with performing arts talent, Lianne is keen to bring something new.

“There are a huge number of creative people in Bridgwater. There’s a real undercurrent of arts-based performance, and I’m looking to inspire a new audience.”

As for Dita? “She really brought burlesque back to the foreground,” says Lianne.

“It didn’t start off as striptease. In its heyday in the Great Depression in America, it was about bringing a bit of happiness to people for a little bit of money; a couple of dancing girls, singers, a comedy act.

“But when the world of cinema really started up, burlesque went underground.

Dina returned it to its rightful place, celebrating the artistry of burlesque.”

Tickets cost £15 per table per person, £12 for row seats or £8 for balcony seats, available from Shhh! at 31, Bridgwater High Street or shhh-burlesque.co.uk