Text Box: With changing attitudes to sex in the 1960’s Burlesque started to become a dying form. However, the French, who had always embraced this art form since the Belle Époque, after LES FOLIES BERGERE opened in Paris in 1869, were now getting the upper hand, and a group of Striptease Artistes continued carrying the torch and became a huge international attraction. 

Until recent years the word Burlesque in France was only associated with comedy Female Impersonators and never with female striptease artistes. 
At that time the likes of Poupée La Rose,  
Carol Ryva and Véronique etc.. 
were especially popular and famous in less 
sexually liberated countries such as Spain
and Italy. 

Without even taking off their panties and
bra they were causing a sensation with 
suggestive costumes and fancy 

From the 1970’s, Burlesque art almost 
disappeared with the emergence of cheap 
skin flicks, peep-shows, tacky lunchtime 
pub gigs, live shows and topless bars.

In Europe only a few establishments were still presenting properly produced shows and packing tourist audiences whilst continuously progressing and altering with the times. Most renowned were La Maschera in Turin and The Crazy Horse in Paris, which left the fun of Burlesque aside in favour of sumptuous light-on–body shows. The world famous Raymond Revuebar in London was by then already under the Artistic Direction of Gerard Simi (The creator and teacher of The Burlesque Factory). He made this already famous venue even more unique by designing the most extraordinary props ever seen in nude shows and also staging nearly 1000 acts in 27 years.  However, amongst all the modernity of the shows and continuous updating of music, Gerard Simi always kept at least 3 traditional Burlesque numbers in each show.

In the mid eighties at the legendary Windmill Theatre in Soho he staged
’ Razzle Dazzle Burlesque’ a huge extravaganza which celebrated the art of Burlesque from the 1930’s to the present time.

By this time the word Burlesque had for at least two decades been replaced by the word ‘Erotica’. In 2004 The Raymond Revuebar finally closed its doors with the last 
show choreographed by Gerard Simi entitled ’EXOTICA 2000’ which had been staged to celebrate the new millennium.

Ready to be fashionable again, Burlesque was on it’s way.©

Burlesque FactoryPast & PresentPoupee La Rose - French Burlesque Stripper 1960's

Carol Ryva at The Raymond Revuebar  1969

Thr Raymond Revuebar circa 1988The Raymond Revuebar - London

Burlesque acts at The Raymond Revuebar  circa 1988 –1997.  ©




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The Original Gypsy Sophistication.

Gerard choreographed this act  for the
Silver Jubilee of The Raymond Revuebar
in homage to Gypsy Rose Lee

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