Gypsy Wood (Melbourne, VIC)


After working in cabaret, burlesque and contemporary dance for over a decade Gypsy Wood has emerged as a highly original performer with a penchant for the comic, clever, shocking and divine.

Gypsy’s mother, Jeanette Luke performed as a child in Vaudeville. Then in the 60’s worked as a soubrette to showgirls such as Sandra Nelson while dancing in the most famous clubs in Sydney such as the Paradise, the Checkers Club and the Motor Club. Jeanette named her first daughter after that great icon of the tease – Gypsy Rose Lee

A graduate of the Victorian College of Arts Gypsy started her dance career in Australia, however was propelled into the performance underworld and found a life more chaotically bohemian and interesting. From jumping out of giant cakes at parties for New York’s high society to splashing around in fake blood in the dirty gay fetish clubs of Sydney, hosting London game show nights to performing in edgy offbeat comedy shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Gypsy runs the spectrum from vaudeville, variety, burlesque to comedy and contemporary performance art.

Gypsy starred in the sell out Strut n’ Fret production of ‘Feasting on Flesh’ at the Sydney Opera House in 2006, the Spiegeltent at the Brisbane festival and the Assembly Rooms Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2008. And later in ‘Ali McGregor’s Late-Nite Variety-Nite Night’ at the Melbourne Town Hall for Melbourne’s International Comedy Festival and Assembly Rooms Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2009.

In the lead up to the 2007 Australian Federal Election Gypsy created and performed an act where she emerged as John Howard in an American flag bikini, stripping to Britney Spears ‘hit Gimme More’. Later that year Gypsy Wood was called upon to perform her patriotic duty as an Australian Burlesque artist– when asked to strip as a playboy bunny for Australia’s former Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, on The Chaser’s War on Everything in front of 2.3 million television viewers, the next day headlines read, ‘Rudd runs like a rabbit!” The Australian, 2007

And in 2009 Gypsy exploded from a Labor Ballot box as John Howard at Bob Hawke’s 80th birthday party at the Sydney Opera House. Stripping in front of then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, former prime minister Paul Keating and former Labor leader Kim Beazley creating a whirlwind of scandal headlines and news , Hawke Burlesque Antics a Hit, Says Dancer –ABC News 2009

Since 2010 has co produced the cult festival show Comic Strip An evening of Stand-Up Comedy and Strip Tease in the style of a New York strip club circa 1964. Comic Strip played in the infamous ‘Garden of Unearthly Delights’ and sold out its entire run in the Deluxe Tent and later in 2011 for Assembly Gardens in the Edinburgh Fringe festival.

“Even I fancy her!” shouts the ever more excitable girl on my table after Gypsy’s penultimate costume change. And when she returns for the fourth and final game dressed only in heels, elbow-length gloves and the scantiest, spangliest thong bikini, a hundred jaws hit the table as one. Doctors fear some spectators may never recover the full use of their scorched eyeballs.”- Dominic Wells, The Times, 2008


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