The Raymond Revuebar in London’s sleazy Soho was Britain’s first-ever strip club. Paul Raymond (nee Geoffrey Anthony Quinn in Liverpool in 1925) opened the club on April 21 1958.
Open 7 nights a week, with 2 shows performed live on stage, usually involving loud music and simulated sex and masturbation with ladies in glitzy costumes it was an instant success, and got around the rules by becoming a members only club therefore allowing the performances to be more risqué.
What I love about these pictures are the faces in the audience, the utter sexlessness of gussying up to sit on hard wooden chairs and avoiding all eye-contact with your fellow voyeurs. All but one of the straight-laced crowd – the man nibbling the pinkie finger he has made an ‘o’ from – are sat cross-legged, like students in class.
Raymond moved into top-shelf magazines, which all glossy, touchable but ultimately dead had more sex appeal than his matt-finish live shows. Going to the strip club in 1958 was a novelty; but the saucy take-away magazines were the onanists’ true friend.
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