Fanny Hill (The Scotsman)
This adaptation of John Cleland’s neglected Georgian masterwork is a hugely enjoyable bawdy romp through one woman’s life and sex life, which for the purposes of the tale appear to be virtually interchangeable.
The eponymous heroine, a naïve country virgin, finds herself all alone in the world with nothing but a bag of second-hand trinkets to her name, when a chance meeting with an old schoolfriend sets her on the path to the big city and a life as a streetwise whore. But Fanny is not wretched at the thought of having to turn tricks to make her way, and in fact fate continually smiles down on this “tart with a heart”: when one brothel door slams in her face another seems courteously to fly open.
The play is packed with erotic adventures of all shapes and sizes nailed by a versatile cast which delights in taking many parts, dropping many breeches and lifting many skirts. It’s deliciously naughty and well worth staying up for.
Photograph: Thomas Everchild Studio 1919