Fringe World Perth 2016

Naked Girls Reading, Fringe World Perth 2016

0 Comments 13 February 2016


Presented by Retro Rocket Events

Casa Mondo

Review by Annie Teh

The Pleasure Gardens get a little more pleasurable with the classy act of Naked Girls Reading. With a title like ‘Naked Girls Reading’, the show requires very little explanation — naked girls sit on a couch to read various excerpts from a curated list of books for a live audience.

The concept of having girls reading stark naked may seem weird, and to be fair it is. The pull factor is there, with the cramp space in Casa Mondo fully packed with both men and women eager for a good show. The stars of this show are Melbourne-based burlesque stars Petra Dish and Carletta the Great, and Perth-based musician Tara John. The theme of the night was ‘Fairy Tales’, which provided an odd contrast to the very adult bareness of the ladies sat before the audience. With books propped on their carefully-angled knees and glitter covering their uncovered bodies, they read a selection of children’s stories, including the classic Little Red Riding Hood, The Eleventh Hour by Graeme Base, and Squeakers by Stephen Cosgrove.

Tara John and Petra Dish proved to be strong readers, bringing their personality into their narration, which covered for Carletta the Great’s unfortunate slurring and fumbling of her passages. MC Feisty (Nikki Mauri), dressed (yes, dressed) as a very sexy librarian, helped set the tone in the classiest way possible, ensuring the audience stayed well-behaved yet entertained through the show.

Stories have a great power in captivating audiences, and by reading them naked, fairytales and children’s books took on a new life. On one hand, they assumed a lewder tone, with audience members giggling when a storybook character swung a fishing rod. On the other hand, it gave the stories more depth; bringing up pertinent themes of stranger danger, gender roles, and empowerment.

In a way both elements are equally important — you can’t have the reading without the naked or the naked without the reading. Yet, it is easy to forget that the women are fully unclothed, and get immersed in the words coming out of their mouths instead, even if the protagonist in the book was a fluffy little squirrel.

Naked Girls Reading is essentially a cabaret for bookworms — a literary feast for the ears and mind, and a wonderful feast for the eyes. Watching naked women sit on a couch for an hour is an easy choice, but you’ll be surprised how much you’d enjoy the reading part too.

Naked Girls Reading runs till 17th Feb at 9.45pm, at Casa Mondo, The Pleasure Gardens, Northbridge. Each night comes with its own unique theme. Tickets available here

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