Here’s an excerpt from a transcription of interview I conducted with Suzanne, former stripper and owner of ‘Uptown Glamour’ a striptease agency operating in Newcastle for the last 30 years:
E: And did you dance, were you a trained dancer before you started stripping?
S: Eh, no. I could move in time to music but I was never trained as a dancer or anything, nothing like that at all, in fact I wasn’t even a very good dancer, but all you had to do was be able to walk around then. That’s the way the strippers worked, they just walked around with an exaggerated wiggle. They didn’t actually dance. In fact they did, there was one girl that danced, her name was Margo. She was awfully posh but the chaps used to call her ‘The Fastest Fanny In The West’, hahaha. ‘Fastest Fanny In The West’, fabulous. But no you didn’t really have to dance.
Production still from a day’s filming in Whitley Bay. Here I am speaking to a bouncer outside a Whitley Bay bar who were hosting a regular saturday daytime strip event. The juxtaposition of the strip venue with the Spiritualist church brings up strong questions of location. Location is a vital theme of the work Two Spots 65. The stripping industry in the North East is integrated in to everyday society through the fairly centralised location of the venues who employ agency strippers, but like a Spiritualist Church these venues still exist as marginal, liminal spaces, unfrequented and overlooked by the majority of local people.