World Buskers Festival

Captain Kidd's first time stripping


First time World Buskers Festival performer Mark Winmill, aka Captain Kidd, talks to ABBIE NAPIER about the stage and how he ended up taking off his clothes on it.

Mark Winmill, aka Captain Kidd, gardens in his spare time and is big on yoga.

A first-timer at the World Buskers Festival, he is performing at Buskers Burlesque, alongside dancers Michelle L'Amour, Imogen Kelly and Nate Cooper.

When he isn't stretching his green fingers, he's covered in sequins and tassles, performing risque acrobatic and dance routines and making the audience swoon and giggle at the same time.

His act includes a sailor costume, some clowning around, and a good bit of tease thrown in there for good measure. Now pushing 40, Winmill is a stage veteran of 15 years.

While his real performance career may have started in the circus, Winmill showed a tendency for the theatrical early on.

"I used to streak my parents in the living room," he said. "I'd run in, drop my towel, do a little dance, and run off." The signs were there.

About nine years ago he added a striptease to an aerial act in a nightclub and has been a raging success since.

"I just decided to get a bit dirty and strip in the act.

"I had a strip-trapeze act for a while which was well-received."

These days, his act has glammed up a bit and stops short of full-frontal nudity. The act he brings to Christchurch won him the coveted King of Burlesque title in Las Vegas.

"People I know have raved and raved about Christchurch and this festival. I'm really excited for it, and the lineup is spectacular, some real killer acts."

Burlesque is still taking off in NZ and is mostly female, but Winmill is never concerned about the reception.

"It's purely about entertainment, and allows the audience to let loose a little. The audience is usually a real mixture of people. I'm gay, but I like to play around with gender in my shows. People will be giggling by the end."

Captain Kidd's first time stripping


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