performer: Bishop Black.
Tucked away in the depths of the Salon Zur Wilden Renate beer garden lies the Peepshow, a glimpse into a ruby fantasy.
Between the currently closed club and the self-service bar stands the peepshow box, so unassuming, from afar that you could even miss it on any casual evening downing beers and having a smoke. Luckily, tonight you’re a bit more curious, and on a second glance, you notice little cutouts looking into the box, each with a small vagina plastered underneath and a sign that says “tip the slit.” Just before 20:30, a voice announces to the crowd over a megaphone that there are 2 tickets left for the 20:30 peepshow. Buy one. Buy the other for your friend if you have a spare five euros.
You’re handed admission on a raffle ticket with a number. Take a seat at your assigned peephole and wait for the show to begin. The music starts and the curtain goes up, or in this case, your flap flips and sticks to the inside wall with a strip of velcro to reveal the scarlet vision that awaits you.
A performer takes the stage, swaying in the crimson carpeted hovel. And, all of sudden, you are no longer in the Renate garden but transported somewhere else. The performer carries you to their world––perhaps to Jack Rabbit Slim’s for a dance with Mia Wallace, or a magical forest full of unicorns, or even the Barbie palace of your childhood dreams. Five minutes later, you leave your peephole, and your feet thud onto the hard earth coating Berlin’s surface. You look around, and you are back in the Renate garden.
performer: Suki Sky
performer: Cadbury Parfait
Bille Rae, founder and director of Bad Bruises, The House of Red Doors, Weisse Maus Berlin, and co-founder and creator of the immersive theatre exhibition, Overmorrow, created the Peepshow with her partner Benjamin Strafe and, in Billie’s own words, “with a lot of help from our core team of amazing souls.” Like many of the most interesting pieces of art around Berlin at the moment, the Peepshow was partially born out of the precarity brought about by the pandemic. “We set it up as a way of creating work, jobs, and a stage for artists during the corona crisis,” says Billie. However, she mentions that the Peepshow in its current form is just a draft of a much bigger project to come that had been in the works long before the pandemic.
Performer: Jessica Risqué
performer: Ixa Psyborg
The Peepshow explores performance art in some of its more sensual and creative forms. Performances range from “burlesque, the exotic and erotic, freakshow and circus, contortion and magic, poetry, live sex, striptease and so much more.” And Billie Rae is no stranger to these art forms having worked as a 1920s-inspired, avant-garde burlesque dancer and fire performer for nearly 15 years all over the world. She settled in Berlin and in 2016, founded Bad Bruises. “It was intended to create spaces, events, and parties that performers, artists, and hedonists would want to visit,” she says. “Also to create safe spaces to explore all themes of desire. We dedicated the whole brand to creating dream worlds and wonderlands for like-minded folk to lose themselves––a place surrounded by art, theater, music, and of course sex!”
performer: Chiqui Love
performer: Lady Lee
The Peepshow is a secluded yet voyeuristic continuation of Bad Bruise’s philosophy with many of the same performers from the legendary House of Red Doors parties and Overmorrow returning to the stage. “We have a super diverse lineup and try to create an evening of entertainment that will always have something different to offer,” says Billie. “Also now, by word of mouth, we have a lot of new performers joining us that have come to Berlin specifically to be inside the red box. It’s become a beautiful and extended family.”
performers: Julietta la Doll and Lexi Is Woke
performer: Luna Tiktok
You can find the Peepshow most Fridays and Saturdays in the Salon Zur Wilden Renate beer garden (Alt-Stralau 70, 10245 Berlin) from around 20:30h until late. Performances cost five euros, but you are always invited to leave a tip. You can keep up with the Peepshow on their Instagram or website to see where the little box of sin may find herself in the coming years. See you there!
Awesome piece and photos to boot! Adriana’s style of writing is always a delight