The London chapter of Naked Girls Reading, the literary salon where less is more, is going on tour this summer, starting with an appearance this Saturday at the Hebden Bridge Burlesque Festival. The theme is ‘Yorkshire: God’s Own Country!’ and pays homage to the region and draws together the talents of Tricity Vogue, Rubyyy Jones, festival producer Heidi Bang Tidy, and show producer Glory Pearl.
Below, Glory Pearl inducts us into the mysteries and marvels of Naked Girls Reading.
If you haven’t been to a Naked Girl Reading event, the premise is simple; a panel of women read aloud a selection of texts linked by a common theme. And they do it naked. The rules of the chapter allow us to wear shoes, accessories, jewellery, make up but no clothes, and the themes range widely, from “Fairy Tales” to “Erotica”, and from ‘The Demon Drink” to “Phenomenal Woman” – any genre goes, fiction or non-fiction, and past readings have included classics such as The Iliad, Kerouac’s On the Road, poetry by Baudelaire, Joan Collins’ memoirs, and even Winnie The Pooh. The selection is eclectic, but I’m always keen to include at least one poem from independent poetry publisher, The Emma Press and at Hebden Bridge, I’ll be reading from their Slow Things collection.
Naked Girls Reading is special; a live, nude, literary salon, where beautiful women read beautiful words and a grown-up bedtime story that is intimate, playful and sincere. Its roots are in performance art, the conceit of the female nude as object in art, to be looked upon, assigned meaning, turned on its head by the simple act of choosing what to read and reading it aloud.
When we read our texts, (chosen by each reader and preceded by a short introduction where we explain our choice), our subjectivity cannot be ignored, just as our nudity, (no pasties or merkins here), cannot be hidden – we ask you to look, to listen, to open yourself as the stories unfold.
There is no doubt that Naked Girls Reading is provocative and transgressive, but it is also gentle, inviting the audience into the soft warmth of its bosom as it challenges preconceptions and steps lightly over the boundaries of what is expected of women. In that feminine softness, there is great power, and it is no surprise to me that the shows attract a very broad audience. I thought it was high time people outside of London got a chance to experience that.
As well as the Hebden Bridge Burlesque Festival, you can catch us at the following places:
Brighton Fringe Festival
Theme: Phenomenal Woman!
Readers: Mysti Vine, Jeu Jeu La Foille, Glory Pearl
Venue: The Marlborough Theatre
When:10.30pm on Saturday 7th May
Tickets only £10 and available here: http://www.marlboroughtheatre.org.uk/event/naked-girls-reading/
Guildford Fringe Festival
Readers: Luna Rosa, Lena Mae, Glory Pearl
Venue: The Keep Pub
When: 8pm on Friday 8th July
Tickets only £10 and available online at http://www.guildfordfringefestival.com/sessions/naked-girl-reading/
Edinburgh Fringe Festival
14 & 21 August at a secret location (email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details)
More information on all thinks Naked Girls London related can be found on their website.