Naked Girls Reading does what it says on the tin – three beautiful women read beautiful words for your aural and visual pleasure. The show debuted in London in 2011 and has become a cult hit with a broad audience who have found that the alchemical mix of nudity and literature produces a truly intimate and special atmosphere.
The show brings together three celebrated burlesque performers, Naked Stand Up, Glory Pearl, Lena Mae (producer of the hugely successful 100 Watt Club), and international sensation Luna Rosa, to read a variety of texts on the theme of ‘Wonderlands’, in honour of Guildford native, Lewis Carroll.
Set up by Chicago-based burlesque artist Michelle L’Amour, Naked Girls Reading now has chapters across the world. It calls on the timeless tradition of celebrating the female form in a way that exalts her as artistic muse whilst marrying her image to texts of high intellectual, cultural and social value. It is performance art. It is a celebration and a challenge. It is a living, breathing nude painting that asks viewers to recall how to exalt rather than dissect and scandalize female sensuality. It marries things that have value we understand; history, great literature, the written arts, with something whose value we currently don’t; reverence of female nudity and its ability to inspire. When intelligent women hide behind nothing, when they unapologetically present their personality, wit, bodies, honest opinions, and favourite stories from our collective history (both real and imagined), we are forced to see that history, and its attitude towards the sensual – differently.
Glory explained why she took over the London chapter in 2015 “I performed at one of the very first London events when it was produced by burlesque artist Sophia St Villier. I have always loved reading aloud – probably an overhang from my days as an English teacher in a secondary school, but the mix of nudity and reading aloud was surprisingly potent. What happens at Naked Girls Reading defies description, but something about it generates such a warm, intimate atmosphere in the room that it quickly became one of my favourite shows to perform at. When Sophia asked me to take over, I jumped at the chance and am taking the show on tour!” That tour has so far encompassed Hebden Bridge Burlesque Festival and Brighton Fringe, where the show gained a four-star review from The Argus who described it as ““innovative, fierce and feminine”, and after Guildford Fringe, the show heads north for Edinburgh Fringe. Billing itself as “a witty, pretty, grown-up bedtime story for lovers of fine words and fine women” Naked Girls Reading is not to be missed.
About Glory Pearl
London Cabaret Awards 2015 nominee (Best Alternative Performer), Glory Pearl lives in Tonbridge, Kent, is an ex-school teacher, advertising executive, and trained pole dance and trapeze artist. She began performing burlesque in 2008 and has appeared at many international burlesque festivals. Following serious injury in 2011 she had to re-evaluate her relationship with her body, and became increasingly frustrated by contemporary discourse on beauty, body image, and our relationship with our physical selves. Pearl describes herself as a feminist – something she believes is entirely compatible with taking your clothes off for a living. She is also the producer of Naked Girls Reading, London – part of a global network of events set up by Chicago-based burlesque artist, Michelle L’Amour, that calls on the timeless tradition of celebrating the female form in a way that exalts her as artistic muse whilst marrying her image to texts of high intellectual, cultural and social value.
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