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Soho Striptease Clubs

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Soho Striptease Clubs

Intrepid investigative journalist Daniel Farson ventures deep into the heart of Soho to explore the hidden world of afternoon Striptease Clubs.

1958 7 mins

Director: John Rhodes


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Daniel Farson pays a visit to the Club Panama Theatre, Soho, in April 1958, to experience a new phenomenon: afternoon 'nude shows' that "reflect every British sex taboo". He chats to the club owner, has a frank discussion with the joint's striptease artistes about G-strings, sequinned stars, and their personal lives, and witnesses "the uncovering of a multitude of skins".

At the time, nude models were forbidden from moving on stage in conventional theatres by the Lord Chamberlain's Office, a body responsible for British theatre censorship. But in private members' clubs, it was debatable as to whether the same rules applied. Many Soho entrepreneurs exploited this legislative loophole, following in the footsteps of 'skindustry' leader Paul Raymond, who opened his plush strip club, the Revuebar, also in April 1958.