Brothel #9

The second play in a month to deal with prosititutes and violence against women, this one deals with women sold into prostitution by family members who just want the money. But it shows very graphically the casual brutality inflicted on powerless women by the men in their lives – the pimp, the policeman and the brother who sold her.

The play is very hard to watch, but it is very powerful, I think because the characters are all people. No one is a stereotype; all are complex with both good and bad aspects and therefore so much more sympathetic. You feel sorry for the pimp,(Ash Knight) who is just a guy trying to get by; you hate him for his brutality and the wya he treats the women who are earning his living and you find him charming in his enthusiasms. The policeman (Sanjay Talwar)who rapes the new girl turns out to be a romantic at heart. The older prostitute (Anusree Roy) struggles to survive and really wants to be loved, by anyone. And the younger prostitute (Pamela Sinha) leaves us with a bit of hope when she finally stands up for herself and leaves.

This is an excellent play by Anusree Roy, who was also the strongest actor in the cast, although it was generally a very good cast. Staging was effective and the direction by Nigel Shawn Williams was solid, although I think a few of the bits of business at the beginning (cooking the fish curry for example) took too long.
A tough evening of theatre for a Friday night, but definitely worth seeing.


About cathyriggall

Theatre junkie, who thinks live theatre is the ultimate form of living on the edge. You never know what will happen when an actor steps on the stage.
This entry was posted in Anusree Roy, Nigel Shawn Williams. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Brothel #9

  1. Keith says:

    The play was powerful but needed surtitles and I think rather faded away towards the end. The characters demonstrated more complexity as the play progressed, but this also diluted it dramatically. If the characters are going to be more subtle, the play needs to be too.I thought Salaudin, the policeman, did not quite click. It is a hard role as he is brutal, but weak, and I did not think Mr. Talwar was quite able to capture that in a believable way.The surtitles? Well, I think the play started in an Indian language but even when it moved into English I found it hard to understand for the first act. The second act was clearer, either because they toned down the accents, or because my ear got used to them.

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