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Naked Girls Reading in the Garden

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Curiosity sometimes draws us toward the unusual, the bawdy and even the unimaginable, and isn’t Fringe a perfect time to indulge?

Being a writer, a reader and a “girl” (note: the title should probably read Naked Women Reading in the Garden to scare off unwanted sorts), I had to let my curiosity take me to the Garden of Unearthly Delights to check out this show.

The premise is as obvious as the title (which has the subhead You can’t spell literature without T&A): four women, in all shapes and sizes (although, coincidentally, all tattooed in various places, including their derrieres) reading from books to a decent-sized audience of people who also come in all shapes and sizes and, thankfully, genders.

The theme of my chosen night was “Trash Fiction” and it began with one woman reading from Raymond Chandler in a film-noir voice. Any thoughts I had of a “serious artistic literary venture” were immediately wiped out as the audience laughed along with the reader through intended comic relief and human faux pas.

I was so comfortable I think I forgot they were naked. No, that’s not right. I never forgot they were naked.

Another read a titillating vampire sex romp, though scattered the book’s words with her own witty gestures and asides, while a third read from an unauthorised biography on James Dean, bimbo American-style, and a fourth read from Gene Simmons’ autobiography (ugh! truly…ugh!).

There were two readings per woman and each was heckled by the other women on stage in a sisterly fashion. No, they weren’t uncomfortable up on those couches and chairs with the red curtain draped behind them looking like something out of Vogue but not advertising clothes, and neither were we. I was so comfortable I think I forgot they were naked. No, that’s not right. I never forgot they were naked.

Go on, indulge your curiosity. This show’s got something going for it and proof is that it’s been touring the world for five years now. It’s billed as burlesque, and book themes will change, so don’t get too excited about the vampire sex romp because you might just get James Joyce (oh, come on, he’s racy, too!).

Naked Girls Reading in the Garden: You can’t spell literature without T&A has shows almost nightly in the Garden of Unearthly Delights at 10.45pm until March 16. 

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