Nude Girls Reading
You can’t put literature into plain English without ‘t‼literature,’ and ‘a‼naked’ without ‘burlesque.’ This is the brand name for Naked Girls Reading, an experimental staged show that is basically what it sounds like – a group of nude women (burlesque performers by profession) reading classics aloud to a crowd of admirers. As the name suggests, the women are often dressed in revealing clothing, with many wearing short skirts, exposing their buttocks or other intimate parts. Their costumes are designed to resemble those of famous figures, but the performers are actually dressed in lingerie, revealing themselves only in intimate areas, such as their genitalia.
Nudity was originally used to refer to the display of genitals. However, the word ‘nudism’ has come to mean a more general desire for nudity in public, especially in non-sexual settings. It is generally accepted in polite society that nudity should not be encouraged or even required in all circumstances. However, in this case, the nudity is meant to be in a highly suggestive form – that of reading aloud literary works, rather than in everyday, socially acceptable settings, such as the bedroom. The women wearing the revealing costumes are the focus of the show, and the crowd consists primarily of men who look on in awe or anticipation of what the women are going to read.
The idea of Naked Shows is actually quite simple. A team of highly skilled performers (known as the ‘stage crew’), hired and directed by a production company, stage an event where a group of nude women read classical works of literature in a carefully staged setting, with the purpose of attracting spectators. At the end of the evening, they take the stage and perform to the audience as a burlesque show.
Naked shows are usually accompanied by music, dance and costumes appropriate to the subject matter of the work of the piece. They tend to use props and costumes that are either very sensual in design or that would appeal to an adult male audience. It may also be possible to find a combination of the two, where the sensuality and the nature of the show are complimented by the nature of the performance itself. A good example of this is a recent exhibition at the Royal Court Theatre in London, which featured a burlesque show featuring the erotic performances of naked burlesque dancers.
Burlesque itself is an extremely sexually charged art form, and the performance itself can last for hours on end, sometimes even days or weeks. The women performing in a burlesque show often change positions throughout the performance, with some requiring more attention than others. In addition, the audience members are usually asked to remove any items of clothing that are uncomfortable, such as undergarments or a bra.
The concept of Naked Shows is relatively new. They are believed to have been developed in London in 2020 by London’s Burning productions, which have performed similar shows for several years. There are now more than a dozen clubs around the world where Burlesque shows are held, but none is known to include nude women in its repertoire.