Amy Saunders

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Amy Saunders also known as her alter ego Miss Behave is a British born producer, performer, comedian, and curator. She is a self-taught sword swallower and a figure in the London cabaret scene.[1][2]

Miss Behave, sword swallowing in Belfast.
Miss Behave, sword swallowing in Belfast.
Miss Behave, sword swallowing in Belfast (2013).

Sword swallower[edit]

Saunders is mostly known as a sword swallower, she has broken the Guinness record for most swords swallowed by a woman three times. The first time Saunders broke the record by swallowing 5 swords in London on 28 April 1999. Then she swallowed 6 swords on the set of El Show de los Récords, Madrid, Spain on 27 November 2001. And lastly by swallowing 7 swords in London on 11 September 2004 on the Guinness World Records anniversary episode.[3][4]

A source states she began her performance career as an extrovert teenager flyerer (someone who hands out flyers) outside Camden Town underground station before she turned 18.[5][6] In a BBC feature from 2009 she states she first began performed sword swallowing busking in bars in the West End of London in 1996 (aged 19).[7] In an Independent article from 2010 she is quoted as starting her performance life in fetish clubs and then moved to freakshows as a sword-swallower.[8] Saunders is quoted as saying it took her three years to conquer her gag-reflex and teach her body to open the protective sphincter at the top of her throat's oesophagus.[9]

The Sword Swallowers Association International website has her listed in their Actively Performing Professional Sword Swallowers performing at La Clique, La Soirée, Ripley's Believe It or Not!, The Tonight Show, Guinness World Records, Kamikaze Freakshow, and Circus of Horrors.[10]

Since 2001 Saunders has been performing as her alter ego Miss Behave. She has been compared to Betty Boop and Marlene Dietrich, called "a live cartoon with a late night attitude".[11] Industry website This Is Cabaret said of Miss Behave that she "imprints the evening with unapologetic raciness and sardonic mockery. Aggressive and confrontational, she always has a quick riposte to call your bluff."[12]

Producer[edit]

Saunders has been producing her own variety shows since 2008[13]

"Variety has a much higher profile now, I think entertainment works in a cycle, and although a lot of the performers I use have been going for at least 25 years, the zeitgeist now is variety. Youtube is variety. And circus is very hip at the moment."[14]

Saunders has created The Crack,[15] Miss Behave's Variety Nighty,[16] Miss Behave's Social Club and Pleasure Aid, and Miss Behave's Game Show.[17] In her shows the roles of stage manager, front of house and rigging were all done by stage performers. In Variety Nighty, she also incorporated Statler and Waldorf characters as in-house hecklers.[18][19]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Carrell, Severin. Edinburgh festival fringe 2011: Come to the cabaret, The Guardian, UK, 9 June 2011. Retrieved 31 March 2013.
  2. ^ checkerhead. Stories from the pitch, The Busker Hall of Fame, 24 January 2012. Retrieved 31 March 2013.
  3. ^ Sword Swallowing World Records, To The Hilt Sword Swallowing, Sword Swallowers Association International, USA. Retrieved 31 March 2013.
  4. ^ Guinness World Records. Most Swords Swallowed Simultaneously, YouTube, 21 May 2008. Retrieved 31 March 2013.
  5. ^ A hard act to swallow, Camden New Journal, London, UK, 24 July 2008. Retrieved 31 March 2013.
  6. ^ Sword Swallowing World Records, To The Hilt Sword Swallowing, Sword Swallowers Association International, USA. Retrieved 31 March 2013.
  7. ^ My life as a sword-swallower, BBC News, UK, 15 June 2009. Retrieved 31 March 2013.
  8. ^ Philby, Charlotte. How do I look? Miss Behave, Burlesque comedian, The Independent, UK, 19 June 2010. Retrieved 31 March 2013.
  9. ^ Upcraft, Jo. Get ready for high tease with the new queens of burlesque, Daily Mail, UK, 20 November 2008. Retrieved 31 March 2013.
  10. ^ Actively Performing Professional Sword Swallowers, To The Hilt Sword Swallowing, Sword Swallowers Association International, USA. Retrieved 31 March 2013.
  11. ^ Murray, Jenni. Woman’s Hour, BBC Radio 4, UK, 22 May 2009. Retrieved 31 March 2013.
  12. ^ Lazaretti, CJ. Friday Night Freakshow, This is Cabaret, UK, 2 May 2012. Retrieved 28 April 2014.
  13. ^ Sinclair, Clare. Alternatives, The Skinny, Edinburgh, 10 September 2009. Retrieved 31 March 2013.
  14. ^ Johnson, Andrew. Variety: The spice of life, The Independent, UK, 16 May 2010. Retrieved 31 March 2013.
  15. ^ The Crack. A Variety Of Comedy, StillMisbehaving.com. Retrieved 31 March 2013.
  16. ^ Miss Behave’s Variety Nighty, StillMisbehaving.com. Retrieved 31 March 2013.
  17. ^ Miss Behave Game Show, MissBehaveGameShow.com. Retrieved 31 March 2013.
  18. ^ checkerhead. Stories from the pitch, The Busker Hall of Fame, 24 January 2012. Retrieved 31 March 2013.
  19. ^ Hoggard, Liz. Fetish night with a big heart, London Evening Standard, UK, 21 August 2008. Retrieved 31 March 2013.

External links[edit]