Posted on New Statesman

The Dark Side of Burlesque

Published: 27/12/2017

I’ve been touched by the audience before,” says 32-year-old Ruka Johnson matter-of-factly. “Someone came on stage and just started touching me up.” The sexual assault took place early on in her career, during a one-off performance she was giving at a now-closed venue in Brighton.

“I told the promoter,” she continues. “She sort of just signalled to just carry on performing. So I walked off stage and she said she wasn’t gonna pay me… she said I should’ve given it a bit more oomph.” Johnson bursts out laughing at this – part in disbelief, part in recognition at the outrageousness of the producer’s comments.

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