Proud Feels Pinch Over Burlesque Shows

Dean Nicholas
By Dean Nicholas Last edited 113 months ago
Proud Feels Pinch Over Burlesque Shows

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Miss Polly Rae by WowtheWorld
Camden Council have ordered the immediate halt of burlesque nights at the Proud Gallery, demanding that the venue apply for a similar license to those held by strip joints and lap-dancing clubs. Under pre-existing but newly-enforced laws, local establishments Koko and the Roundhouse, which play host to burlesque nights, will also be forced to apply for the license.

Burlesque has had a respectable rebirth in the last few years, and London now hosts an annual Burlesque and Variety Fringe festival, but Camden's decision threatens to re-open the tired debate about whether burlesque is first and foremost an overtly sexual performance, or a form of artistic expression — an issue most of the performers want to leave behind. Proud Gallery's owner, Alex Proud, complained that "the letter of the law rather than the spirit of the law is being enforced."

According to the Council, however, any such "entertainment of an adult nature" needs to have the proper licensing. Specifically:

"Any premises in the borough that wish to offer entertainment involving nudity, striptease or other entertainment of an adult nature will need approval from the licensing authority - burlesque falls within this criteria."

Perhaps there's merit in organising a fundraiser to take the undersexed office drones at Camden on a trip to a burlesque club so they can judge for themselves whether it's really the same as a dingy peeler bar.

Last Updated 29 April 2009