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Five Clever Courtesans
Published on Monday, 02 August 2010


C aquila (venue website)
5-30 Aug (not 17), 8:50pm (10:20pm)

Five-starred by FringeGuru at the Brighton Fringe in May, Five Clever Courtesans is a challenge for the brain and a feast for the eyes.  Thoughtful and sumptuous, it dares us to revisit our view of the oldest profession in the world – bringing together five historical mistresses, and shining a striking new light onto women’s roles in history and today.


It was, wrote our reviewer Catherine Meek, a simple but powerful premise.  Living far from the destitution we associate with prostitutes today, these five are bound together by more than their feminine wiles.  They reveal a common aspiration for a life beyond the one they were born into – and a fierce ambition to reach the top of the game their era allowed them to play.

With each of the courtesans taking her turn to tell her individual story, Catherine praised the “excellent writing, confident and talented performance, and food for thought to savour”.  Did these intelligent and cunning women enjoy their own form of liberation?  It’s a controversial thought – but it’s a question you’ll find yourself pondering, long after the lace and leather has faded from your eyes.

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