Today Dodgy Perth answers the question on everyone’s lips. Who was the first stripper in Perth? However, the answer to ‘when’ and ‘where’ is much easier than ‘who’. The name of our brave pioneer has been lost to history.
In January 1940 His Majesty’s announced that Perth audiences would see their first ever American-style striptease. The producer, Jack Lester, promised it would be “an artistic contribution” to the programme, and not at all indecent.
On the night it was announced the quantity of clothing removed would be in direct proportion to the level of applause. The crowd, unsurprisingly, went wild.
First off came one glove, then a second glove, a dress, and—we shudder to even say the word—a brassiere. Then the scantily-clad miss disappeared in a subdued light and a storm of applause.
Perhaps ticket sales were not what Jack Lester had hoped. Following nights saw several girls stripped to the waist. And then Jack pulled off his greatest publicity coup. For the first time ever, Perth audiences saw an actual stripper.
A dainty brunette, she gradually discarded her clothing piece by piece until the last item dropped at her petite feet and she pirouetted nude.
When the audience recovered from the shock, the reaction was deafening. They clapped and whistled our local Sally Rand until the last of her birthday suit disappeared from the stage.
The news spread and next night His Maj was packed. Among the audience were four cops standing at the back, ready to spring into action.
As the stripper appeared on stage, the crowd was in a frenzy. But the presence of the law meant her act ended with both tights and brassiere firmly in place.
Cries of “’Fraud!” rang out, but the presence of the police meant that there was to be no repeat of the previous evening. It was said that Perth had seen its last striptease.
Since Mrs Dodgy Perth occasionally reads this column, we firmly state that we wouldn’t know if there are strippers in town today.