“Like all branches of showbiz it’s darned hard work – with very little glamour about it.”
The Gargoyle Club was a private members club founded in the late 1920s by David Tennant. It started its life as a place for the bohemian of London to meet – the intellectuals, the artists, the writers and the glittering socialites.
There was a restaurant downstairs, a ballroom upstairs (reached by a tiny lift, which no longer exists) and dancing on the rooftop garden with views across Soho. Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud and John Deakin allegedly drank themselves to insanity there, and Tallulah Bankhead hung out with Noel Coward.
By the 1960s, however, The Gargoyle had turned into a cabaret and strip club – where the below video was filmed. Take 20 minutes to watch it – there are some great (totally vanilla) performances and interviews with the dancers.
The building is now, of course, home to the Dean St Townhouse. But the entrance to the club was on Meard St rather than Dean Street. Photo above.
From Huntley Film Archives, posted on YouTube