Backstage at the Talk and Tease show Ben Noir asks me “How do I look?”.
He is referring to his new fully sequined cock sock, glittering triumphantly in the tri colours of the French Flag. That's the only thing he's wearing, apart from a matching sequined hat.
“Looks great!” I say, because of course it does. With his elegantly muscular physique, perfect posture and Errol Flynn face, how could it not?
I first met Ben on an afternoon in the Bamboozle Room. He wanted to show me his act and workshop possible ways (aka levels of nudity) to end it. I find that whenever I meet someone and see them in their underpants off the bat, its usually a good omen. In fact I had always had a good feeling about Ben Noir, from way back in 2019 when I first came across his showreel in our inbox. His combination of musicality, striptease and storytelling exuded class, subtly, boldness, skill, uniqueness and tradition...all at once, even through the computer screen.
Something else I have come to appreciate about Ben “Noir” Palumbo since working alongside him is he has led a hugely diverse and world-renowned career as a multi-faceted performance artist. In France he is essentially a household name as I discovered firsthand from our French manager Cedric. At only 40, his credits and accolades are beyond impressive; Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge, the Voice, Britain's Got Talent etc. You would be forgiven by finding this a surprise based on the stunning humility and gratitude that Ben radiates.
For several months the Bamboozle Room has been lucky enough to have Ben Noir as a core member of the Talk and Tease cast. Audiences have been thrilled and caught off guard nightly with Ben’s old-fashioned charm, sex appeal and possibly above all his musical gift- as have the rest of us cast backstage behind the curtain. Ben’s vocal ability is off the chart, but his clever brand of operatic technique with vaudeville risqué humour is performance perfection. He may not know this but, each time he hits that high C the cast backstage still either give each other “F$%k yeah” looks or silents nods of respectful approval.
Fun Facts about Mr Ben Noir from Mr. Ben Noir:
- I have a unique falsetto which gives me a similar vocal range as a female Soprano (true story)
- I started Burlesque in Paris as a sing and fling (I sang in German)
- I abseiled face first down the side of the AMP building for a show called "Homelands" during the Sydney Olympic arts festival.
- I went to NIDA to study acting (for about a minute) I got kicked out for being "too nice"
- I do spend a lot of time at home naked.... And on stage for that matter!
Alas, all good things do come to an end.
Ben Noir’s last confirmed appearances in Talk and Tease are:
After that Ben leaves us and all of you, for exciting international adventures. After that we don’t know when we will see Ben Noir again but in the spirit of hopefulness, we will say à bientôt and not au revoir.
Until then we at least have the good times immortalised on Instagram: