The Naked Stand-Up

At first glance, The Naked Stand-Up might seem like a crowd-pulling gimmick, or a cheap trick to distract from poor material. In reality, it is a brave and progressive exploration of nudity, body image and social expectations.

A show that will change the way you see the human body, and open your eyes to the damage that can be done by a sometimes puritanical society

Miss Glory Pearl, with her varied history in teaching, burlesque and circus, immediately exudes confidence, despite quite literally baring it all on stage. But as the show progresses, it becomes clear that she has suffered from the same physical and emotional hang-ups we all do. The difference here is that she has learned how to accept and celebrate them, and guides the audience through her healing process.

Of course, the show is not entirely about self acceptance; there is plenty of material on gender politics – such as highlighting the bizarre way in which women, and to a lesser extent men, are subject to damaging beauty ideals – and how nudity is consistently sexualised. 

This second concept forms the majority of the show's opening, in which Miss Pearl delves into the legal system and explains all of the ways that her performance may – or may not – be breaking the law, and how the distinction lies solely in the hands of the audience. This technique of taking everyday assumptions and picking them apart to expose their logical inconsistencies is the root of much of the humour found in the show; unfortunately, there is not a great amount of humour to be found.

Despite the engaging and unique nature of the show, the laughs are few and far between, and the performance seems to be less 'Naked Stand-Up' and more 'Naked Lecture', or 'Naked Spoken-Word'.

If you are looking for a show that will change the way you see the human body, and open your eyes to the damage that can be done by a sometimes puritanical society, this the show for you. If you are seeking belly laughs and tears of joy, you may have to look elsewhere.

Reviews by Ed Barnes

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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.
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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Live and undressed, join London Cabaret Award 2015 nominee Miss Glory Pearl, in her sell-out one-woman show. The Naked Stand-Up is a funny and heartfelt exploration of the body in the 21st century. Join Glory on a journey through legal absurdity, feminist cliché and the impossible beauty standards that leave us all feeling a little bit crappy about ourselves. If you’ve ever looked in the mirror and thought ‘Ugh!’ this show’s for you. She’s frank, she’s funny, and she isn’t wearing any clothes. ‘Funny and genuine … feel-good comedy at its best’ **** (BroadwayBaby.com).

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