Naked Stand Up Glory Pearl goes nude for Brighton Fringe date

The Naked Stand Up heads to Brighton Fringe with The Naked Truth, courtesy of Glory Pearl, the only female comedian to perform nude for a full-hour show.

Glory Pearl: copyright Bill Mackellar
Glory Pearl: copyright Bill Mackellar

Glory – real name Emma Mitchell – is promising a “thought-provoking and deeply-kind show.”

She will be at the Komedia Studio, 44-47 Gardner Street, Brighton, BN1 1UN, on Sunday May 19 at 6pm (doors 5.45pm); tickets: £10 on 01273 647100.

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It’s been a busy year for the ex-school teacher and advertising professional turned stand-up comedian, with dates across the country and as far afield as Paris and Prague. Since debuting The Naked Stand Up at Edinburgh Fringe 2014, Glory has toured extensively and developed hours of material.

The Naked Truth contains tried and tested material from Glory’s back catalogue alongside new routines, all delivered naked and with Glory’s trademark warmth and charm, she promises.

“Since I debuted the first Naked Stand Up show in 2014, hundreds of audience members have told me they found the show empowering and uplifting and through my years of performing it, I’ve come to realise just how radical and important the work is. This show combines material from three shows, with some new routines, and takes me into new territory, discussing the ways women treat each other and what it means to be a naked woman in stand-up today. There’s music, poetry, lots of silliness and a fabulous hat!

“For all its apparent sensationalism, The Naked Stand Up is actually a very gentle show, full of kindness, with an important and relevant message about body image. Audience feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and the critics seem to like it too.

“The audience reaction to The Naked Stand Up has been pretty consistent since I started. People would come up to me afterwards and tell me how brave I was and how inspiring they found the show. The simple act of being able to stand on stage naked and say, ‘This is me, no frills, no cover up’ was something most people found extraordinary.

“I’m not going to lie, doing the show is terrifying, but after a while, I just cared less and less what people thought about me and my body and that got me thinking about how in a world that considers itself so modern, liberated and tolerant, the internalised shame we carry around hasn’t really changed since the Victorian age – even if the things we feel shame about have. “Where a deeply Christian society saw the body as inherently sinful, in the secular 21st century, we see only our flaws and spend ever larger sums of money trying to look a certain way and feeling bad about ourselves if we don’t. I wanted to challenge the ways society tells us we’re ‘wrong’ or ‘bad’ if we aren’t conforming, and actually, even if we are.”

Glory, who worked for many years as a secondary school teacher but later left her vocation to pursue a career in alternative cabaret, was the first female comic to perform an entire stand-up show at the Edinburgh Fringe completely naked.

The response from both critics and audiences was overwhelmingly positive, with the show being described as ‘feel-good comedy at its best’ by Broadway Baby. Since then, it’s been called ‘radical feminist praxis’ by Three Weeks and made hundreds of people feel a bit better about themselves. She’s spoken at the Cambridge Union and appeared on Late Night Woman’s Hour with Lauren Laverne, discussing nudity and her work.

London Cabaret Awards 2015 nominee (Best Alternative Performer), Glory lives in Tonbridge, Kent. She is an ex-school teacher, advertising executive, and trained pole dance and trapeze artist. She began performing burlesque in 2008 and has appeared at many international burlesque festivals.

Following serious injury in 2011 she had to re-evaluate her relationship with her body and became increasingly frustrated by contemporary discourse on beauty, body image, and our relationship with our physical selves.

Pearl describes herself as a feminist – something she believes is entirely compatible with taking your clothes off for a living. She is also the producer of Naked Girls Reading, London – part of a global network of events that calls on the timeless tradition of celebrating the female form in a way that exalts her as artistic muse whilst marrying her image to texts of high intellectual, cultural and social value.