Strippers and Gentlemen

Edinburgh’s raunchiest strip club of the Fringe opens with a warning from one of the several bouncers allocated, who decree “Move around, follow the action, but do not touch the women.” The gorgeous feast that follows, complete with classy choreography and mental music, makes this show one of the most radical and immersing in Fringe history.

The performance has it all. It is sexy, sassy and seductive, and it makes the audience play the most erotic version of ‘Follow the Leader’ as the action shifts quite literally from pole to pole. The dialogue serves to confirm what the body language already so emphatically suggests – that the girls are in control, with the men playing the subservient role of poacher chasing gamekeeper, desperately crying “What is your name” to the strippers, as if it mattered.

What little storyline there is feels unimportant. The combination of lighting, a multimedia-fuelled set and a cast that believe in their characters fulfil the show’s criteria of personifying pure, unadulterated lust. It’s hardly tasteful, but nor is it filthy – more an artistic creation of the temptation of the human body, for which the gentlemen (not just the actors, but many in the audience) will so passionately fall.

Finally, a warning. I attempted to remain as neutral as possible when writing this review; however, being a young, impressionable and testosterone filled male, I fear that sheer eroticism alone may have in part impacted upon my unrelenting praise (particularly as a girl nearby whispering “THIS IS AWFUL” was enough to briefly disengage me from my trance). However, this show deserves to be seen for pure aesthetic beauty, clever use of the space available and a propensity to thrill. Feel free to indulge.

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

The Blurb

C SoCo. 1st - 25th August. 22:55 (50m).

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