It’s been a busy year for the ex-school teacher turned stand up comedienne, with dates across the country and as far afield as Prague. Since debuting The Naked Stand Up at Edinburgh Fringe 2014, Glory has toured her show, written a new one that debuted at Guildford Fringe last year, and started work on a third show about women’s relationship with that most secret of places, their genitals. This show contains material from all three shows, from the tried and tested to the brand new, but all delivered naked and with Glory’s trademark charm.
Glory explained why her work is more important than ever: ‘The audience reaction to The Naked Stand Up has been pretty consistent since I started. People would come up to me afterwards and tell me how brave I was and how inspiring they found the show. The simple act of being able to stand on stage naked and say, ‘This is me, no frills, no cover up’ was something most people found extraordinary. I’m not going to lie, doing the show is terrifying, but after a while, I just cared less and less what people thought about me and my body and that got me thinking about how in a world that considers itself so modern, liberated and tolerant, the internalised shame we carry around hasn’t really changed since the Victorian age – even if the things we feel shame about have. Where a deeply Christian society saw the body as inherently sinful, in the secular 21st century, we see only our flaws and spend ever larger sums of money trying to look a certain way and feeling bad about ourselves if we don’t. I wanted to talk about the ways society tells us we’re ‘wrong’ or ‘bad’ if we aren’t conforming, and actually, even if we are.’
Glory – who worked for many years as a secondary school teacher but later left her vocation to pursue a career in alternative cabaret – was the first female comic to perform an entire stand-up show at the Edinburgh Fringe completely naked. The response from both critics and audiences was overwhelmingly positive, with the heart-warming show being described as ‘feel-good comedy at its best’ by Broadway Baby. Since then, it’s been called ‘radical feminist praxis’ by Three Weeks and made hundreds of people feel a bit better about themselves.
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 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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