Soho diarist Clayton Littlewood will discuss the history and complexity of this small district, how from the 17th century it became a cultural melting pot and what led to it becoming so associated with the erotic life of London.
Describing the various transformations that have taken place, Clayton will be talking about The Windmill Theatre and The Raymond Revuebar in the 50s, the abundance of prostitutes, clip joints and ‘walk ups’ in the 60s, the commercialised sex scene of the 70 and the tightening of licensing controls in the 80s, until the gay scene took over in the 90s.
The talk will also draw on the famous characters associated with Soho, people like 19th Century cross-dressers Fanny and Stella, Oscar Wilde, murderer Dennis Nielsen and the sex scandals they’re associated with—as well as others associated with Soho’s seamier side: the flamboyant Quentin Crisp, the singer Marc Almond and Soho dandy Sebastian Horsley. Clayton will also share some personal stories of living and working below a brothel, befriending 'the girls upstairs’ and accompanying them to court to help them stay working.
Will the gentrification of Soho result in the loss of an important, historical and cultural aspect of the city? Is the current 'clean up’ of Soho really needed? Come and find out...
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