“Every night was like new years eve….fun and laughs, tits and tinsel!” – Monique Kelly
Monique Kelly was a legendary performer at Les Girls for 24 years and is Kings Cross living history. The Cross has imprinted itself on Monique as much as she has left a mark on the identity of the area.
Monique started her performing career singing bass with an opera company. She was first employed as a drag performer in the late 1960s and early 1970s at Gilligans in Bondi, which was owned by crooked businessman Jimmy Anderson. It was a sleazy, rough old bar outside of which Anderson’s wife was gunned down. Later, Monique worked at the Unicorn Hotel, The Rex, The Flinders and the Taxi Club.
In 1973, Monique joined Carousel Cabaret in Kings Cross, before joining the relaunched Les Girls in 1976 at the Palladium (now the Empire Hotel), which is where Monique and Carol Spencer (Carlotta) became good friends.
Monique left Les Girls just before it closed in 1997, after 24 fabulous years.
“There was nothing like the world of Les Girls, and there’s nothing like it now” - Monique Kelly