Naked Girls Reading: a phenomenon that's about to hit Christchurch

Hugo Grrrl is Genevieve Fowler's drag king alter ego and will be hosting Naked Girls Reading in Christchurch next week.
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Hugo Grrrl is Genevieve Fowler's drag king alter ego and will be hosting Naked Girls Reading in Christchurch next week.

Do you like nudity? Do you like reading? Then you'll love Naked Girls Reading, a burlesque phenomenon that is coming to Christchurch for the first time next week.

The show, which was invented by two Chicago burlesque performers in 2009, involves women simply reading to an audience while naked.

Actor and singer Phoebe Hurst, who starred in recent hit musical That Bloody Woman, artist Natalia Saegusa and burlesque performer Sera Tonin will read "feminist propaganda", including everything from Beyonce lyrics to Maya Angelou poetry, while completely naked.

Show producer and performance artist Audrey Baldwin said the event was a "punk rock" way to "subvert the patriarchy" and normalise the naked female body.

READ MORE: Palmerston North woman bares all in show

"It is about women taking ownership back and taking the gaze back from their bodies," she said.

Palmerston North woman Hannah Pratt is part of the growing Naked Girls Reading phenomenon.
DAVID UNWIN/FAIRFAX NZ

Palmerston North woman Hannah Pratt is part of the growing Naked Girls Reading phenomenon.

"You are sitting there naked with just a book. We live in a world where everything has filters. It is quite a riotous act to present the naked body as it is."

Baldwin said she wanted to share her experience of life modelling and using her body in performance art for the last 12 years.

"I find it really empowering and I would love to share that experience with other women."

She also wanted to challenge Christchurch's conservative culture.

"I want to move Christchurch forward and kick it out of its stereotypical conservative image."

The night will be hosted by Genevieve Fowler's rambunctious drag king alter ego, Hugo Grrrl, who will take questions from the audience between each reading.

"It's not just academic, dry texts."

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The event featured in the The Big Burlesque Blowout in Christchurch last year, but this is the first of three regular events in the city. Future themes will be science fiction and "smut".

Naked Girls Reading will be held at XCHC on Wilsons Rd, Christchurch on May 25 at 7pm. Tickets are available from cosmicticketing.co.nz

 - Stuff

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