The Trickster Prince

Matt Houlbrook: mobile historian; beard growing, head shaving; occasional cycling.

Sexual degenerates and ladies of the street on London’s stage (1925)

Sexual degenerates and ladies of the street on London's stage (1925)

Frederick Lonsdale’s comedy of modern lives and loves opened at the St Martin’s Theatre in London in January 1925. A month later a positive review in the Tatler was accompanied by these two fantastic illustrations by Nerman.

In Lonsdale’s play a husband becomes convinced his wife is about to have an affair. His response? To employ a lady of the streets to live in their house to shock her. It makes sense to me too…

In Nerman’s illustrations we see Cathleen Nesbit as the furred and cigarette-smoking “Mona, the lady of the streets, who is co-opted to the dinner party in order that she may give the ‘amateurs’ her ideas of things.” “Ultra-shinged,” austere, monocled and masculine — the very height of daring fashion of the time — Edna Best appears as “Fay Collen, one of the heroine’s numerous degenerate friends.”

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This entry was posted on January 8, 2014 by in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , .
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