In advance of Naked Girls Reading; the motherhood edition this Saturday at the Fringe Bar, I put a few questions to its producer, Hugo Grrrl.

header image featuring '50s style kitsch and pinupsOkay, first off. Naked girls reading – what in the heck is this? And who are you?
Naked Girls Reading is exactly what it sounds like – it’s completely naked women reading literature aloud on stage. If anything it’s a comedy show. Oh, and I’m everyone’s friendly¬†neighbourhood transvestite, Hugo Grrrl. I produce the shows in NZ, and I MC them.three naked women and a drag king, nipples covered with emoji

Where did the event have its origins? What made you bring it to Wellington?

It was borne out of the burlesque scene in Chicago nine or so years ago. An Australian friend told me about the show and I fell in love with the idea right away.

As an audience person, am I supposed to look straight at them? Avert my eyes politely? Isn’t it awkward?

You can leer! Relish is that discomfort! Why are we so afraid of naked bodies? Why are celebrated naked female bodies scary? Come to the show, find out. But really, you’ll be astounded at how normal it all feels after that first brief moment of culture shock.

How would you respond to critics saying that naked = exploitation?

I have this conversation A LOT. Almost exclusively with people who have never seen the show before, interestingly. Maybe what we’re doing is horribly seedy and exploitative. Turn up, find out

Naked girls? WHAT ABOUT TEH MENZ????

Gasp! Yep! It’s a show not made by, for or about men. However will they cope. When so little else in the world is.

What’s next for Naked Girls?

We’re doing shows this year in Dunedin, Christchurch and Auckland. More naked boys shows, cause you horndogs loved that.’

And while I have you, I know you do drag as well. For someone whose only experience of drag is Drag Race, can you give us a little 101 on the Wellington scene?

It’s good! Live, local drag is like nothing you’ll see on TV. If you like Drag Race, come on, get your ass off the couch and come and support your local dragsters. It’s out there, go find it.

PS: Naked Girls Reading is also doing a Food Edition as part of Wellington on a Plate, featuring our very own Jess.