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Alcazar de Paris. Floor show, 1989

The Alcazar de Paris was a favourite haunt of Toulouse Lautrec at the turn of the century. Imagine my delight when I managed to obtain permission to enter and to sketch the dancers when I visited Paris in 1989.

I was allowed every Monday and Tuesday night and given a table on a raised platform. I sat in total darkness, the only light coming from the stage. Without any money I was given a glass of iced water and one night a young waiter brought me a candle so that I could see what I was drawing.

This show, the Wives of Monsieur Ledru, dealt with the legend of Bluebeard, who murdered a number of his wives and burned them in his oven.

Five beautiful women in strict Victorian costume descended onto the stage from above.