With underground cabaret in Paris booming, rising star Louise de Ville reveals all (well, not quite). By Adam Hay-Nicholls

Places to take your lover
‘The red-velveted Raspoutine hosts Paris’ clubbing elite, but before the oligarchs and their model friends take to the dance floor I treat them to some kinbaku. That’s Japanese bondage, and it’s every bit as intricate as it sounds: I tie myself up and suspend myself from the ceiling. Across the Champs-Elysees, Pink Paradise puts on regular striptease after midnight, but it’s earlier BurlesQ show includes French pop star Clara Morgane, who invites the audience to remove her gloves with their teeth, and Kiki Beguin who, inspired by the pin-up art of Alberto Vargas, bursts balloons hidden under her skirt.

Places to take your mother
‘La Manufacture (42 rue de Rochechouart) is a rock n’ roll bar in the 9eme with burgers upstairs and Pretty Propaganda in the basement. Shows are usually comical – in one act I wear a chicken costume – and the audience is mainly female. At Cirque Electrique on the easternmost outskirts, another stellar act is Lalla Morte, an oriental waif who likes to surprise the crowd by springing from a suitcase. Her act is eerie, beautiful and poetic, like something from the silent-film era.’

For where to see Louise de Ville perform, visit

Published in Conde Nast Traveller April 2013.

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