Don't Give Up the Strip!: erotic performance as live entertainment in mid-twentieth century Australia

Jonathan Bollen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    3 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    From 1949 to 1959 Brisbane's Theatre Royal presented a variety show with a weekly change of name, such as Grin and Bare It (1951), Nudes and Blushes (1952), Don't Give Up the Strip (1957), Hips Hooray (1958), Bareway to the Stars (1958) and Don't Point, It's Nude (1959). The show reportedly attracted a family audience; its highlight, according to one commentator, was the moment when 'Carmelita, the great striptease of the company ...and her four attendants coyly removed their bras'. Yet, in 1961, when the show was recreated in the television studios of Brisbane's BTQ7, striptease was not among the acts broadcast onto the city's television screens. This article explores the fate of erotic performance as live entertainment in mid-twentieth century Australia. Burlesque-style performances with showgirls in bustier and fishnet stockings were occasionally seen on variety shows in television's first decade in Australia, although such performances were more readily televised when framed by theatrical convention. While television's claim on the mass production of respectable variety for a suburban audience rendered the performer's eroticism innocuously nostalgic, new metropolitan niches for the live presentation of nude revue were emerging in Sydney and Melbourne.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)125-140
    Number of pages16
    JournalJournal of Australian Studies
    Volume34
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010

    Keywords

    • Entertainment
    • Nudity
    • Striptease
    • Television
    • Theatre

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