I first saw a version of this show a few years ago and the tag line was ‘You can’t have literature, without T&A’, which was a genius line. It’s an odd idea for a show. Four naked girls, taking turns to read books out loud. The performers, mostly burlesque performers or exotic dancers, are all used to being seen with little or no clothes on. So there is no embarrassment or shyness from our readers. There is however some strange vibes in the audience. Before they arrive and disrobe with no fanfare, there is a sense of anticipation in the fairly full Bally. When they do ditch their robes and sit on their (very impressive) chairs, they start to read their chosen book passages, there are clearly some people (okay mostly the dudes) who brains are going ‘boobs! Books! Reading! Oh these naked girls are actually just going to read books? Um…..okay!’

The name of the show isn’t ‘Naked Girls reading books, covered in baby oil, covered in glitter, bouncing on a trampoline, and then wrestling in jello’. It literally does what it says on the box. Its naked girls reading books. The nakedness initially is titillating, but quickly becomes normalized and less salacious as the reading continues. Like all shows were the cast is ever changing, some readers work better than others and some texts do the same. Each night has a different theme (tonight’s is taste/things you put in your mouth). So a lot of the humour comes from bawdy readings of un-bawdy texts. Tonight we get readings from Harry Potter, The Witches of Eastwick, Harry Potter, a cook book, Game of Thrones, Silence of The Lambs, Like Water for Chocolate and even the children’s book The Very Hungry Caterpillar. This evenings performers are the host Luna Eclipse (from the exceptionally good Peaches’n’Gin Burlesque, Strawberry Siren (currently in Svelte hosted by Randy the puppet), Ruby Slipper (After Hours Club) and the bubbly Clara Cupcakes who has been doing her own show called The Worst.

It’s a fun way to spend an hour in Gluttony.

Considering some of the hateful pages on Facebook, it doubly suck that FB decided to delete the Naked Girls Reading page on the morning of their opening night.

Naked Girls Reading is on every night at 9:15pm until March 18.

Three Stars

Fringe Review by Ian Bell

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