The author of Fear and Loathing in Fitzrovia and North Soho 999, Paul Willetts is well-established as an expert on Soho and its environs. His latest book, The Look of Love: The Life and Times of Paul Raymond, Soho’s King of Clubs, was recently made into a film with Steve Coogan in the starring role. Raymond was one of Soho’s most renowned figures, a major figure in the area’s pornographic industry, and its premier landowner.
Willetts will be joined by burlesque dancer, Immodesty Blaize, who made a brilliant appearance at last year’s festival. A Soho aficionado herself, she will talk to him about Raymond’s life and world.
‘A man in his thirties is auditioning a young woman in the office of his strip club, the Raymond Revuebar. Paul Raymond eyes the woman with grim professionalism. He knows exactly what he wants – she must be under thirty, with smallish breasts, ideally nine stone and 5ft 8in tall. The girl takes her clothes off. What he sees doesn’t excite him sexually. When he sees nudity, he sees money – enough money, as Paul Willetts explains, to buy huge chunks of Soho. A fascinating recent history of grubby London’ – Evening Standard