In Praise of Fallen Women


An exploration of the oldest profession in the world, through the lives of courtesans, happy hookers, sex workers and cross-dressing rent ‘boys’ in Edwardian London. In Praise of Fallen Women explores a new aesthetic in live performance – bilingual theatre, incorporating spoken and projected text with theatricalised British Sign language, creating a visceral, visual style. Provocative and intelligent, seductive but never sleazy, the work is alternatively humorous, poignant, innovative and irreverent.

First production

5 - 16 July 2006, The Drill Hall, London

Cast: Jeni Draper, Jean St Clair
Dramaturg & Director: Kaite O'Reilly
Designer: Sophia Lovell Smith
Lighting designer: Ian Scott
Film maker Mark: Webber

In 2006 Kaite O'Reilly founded The Fingersmiths Ltd with Jean St Clair and Jeni Draper, as an off-shoot of her AHRC Creative Fellowship ‘Alternative Dramaturgies informed by a d/Deaf and disability Perspective.’ In Praise… was the only production the team made together, exploring bilingualism in performance (spoken/projected and visual languages).


“Stunning…red-hot, brave, bashfully beautiful… (a) glorious multi-layered theatrical feast…” Disability Arts Online


Kaite O'Reilly