Fanny by Gaslight
Time Out says'Mee-ow, 'ere we are again,' chorus the clientele of the Jolly Bargee, one of the stops on our long-suffering heroine's circuit of 1880s London. And 'ere we are again indeed, with this time the fastidious Asquith mediating the addictive pleasures of a Gainsborough period melodrama. Poor Fanny's bourgeois cocoon is exploded in the opening scenes when her beloved Papa is killed in a brawl, whereupon it emerges that he was a brothel keeper, not her real father anyway and, on top of that, Mama is at death's door. Much fun is to be had from Fanny's subsequent snakes-and-ladders odyssey back to that position in society which her accent requires, with Mason erupting into the plot at various points to visit further woe on the plucky young woman. The title (from a novel by Michael Sadleir) was the source of much ribald patter for years afterwards.