Mother Clap’s Molly House, a black comedy with songs, is a riotous celebration of the diversity of human sexuality.
In London, 1726, Mrs Tull’s husband has just dropped dead from a surfeit of lustful thoughts. She’s left with a shop that sells fancy dress costumes, most popular with the prostitutes looking to stand out from the crowd. She can’t read the ledgers, she’s getting cheated by the whores, a man in a dress is looking for a job, and the apprentice boy keeps disappearing on sexual adventures to the heath. But it is the apprentice boy, and his taste for wearing the dresses in the shop, that gives her the idea for a new career. The play skips between the eighteenth century and 2001, where a group of wealthy gay men are preparing the drugs and video cameras for a sex party.
The play is both an affectionate examination of the vitality and liberation of the molly house’s counterculture, and a regretful comment on the commodification of sex and love.
Mother Clap’s Molly House premiered in 2001 at the National Theatre, London.