I saw a play a few years ago told from the perspective of a woman maybe about 30, who was having her mother and some of her mother's friends over for a time. She didn't much get along with them, except maybe for one I think named Prade. The daughter's fiancé may have also been present.

A bit into the play, it's revealed that her mother's wealth was earned largely if not entirely due to her work as a prostitute, and her friends may have been her former (current) clients. There was some discussion about what that says about her mother's moral character. One of the other patrons remarked that her husband has always said that marriage is a way to legalize prostitution, and that it seems someone has written a play with that premise. I wasn't (and am not) good enough at literary analysis to corroborate that, but it seems about right.


1 Answer 1


Mrs Warren's Profession by George Bernard Shaw.

From Wikipedia's description:

Vivie Warren, a thoroughly modern young woman, has just graduated from the University of Cambridge with honours in Mathematics (equal Third Wrangler), and is available for suitors. Her mother, Mrs. Warren (her name changed to hide her identity and give the impression that she is married), arranges for her to meet her friend Mr. Praed, a middle-aged, handsome architect, at the home where Vivie is staying. Mrs. Warren arrives with her business partner, Sir George Crofts, who is attracted to Vivie despite their 25-year age difference. Vivie is romantically involved with the youthful Frank Gardner, who sees her as his meal ticket. His father, the (married) Reverend Samuel Gardner, has a history with Vivie's mother.

The play focuses on how their relationship changes when Vivie learns what her mother does for a living. It explains why Mrs. Warren became a prostitute, condemns the hypocrisies relating to prostitution, and criticises the limited employment opportunities available for women in Victorian Britain.

The full text of the play can also be read online.

The daughter is a young woman and recent graduate, so around 30 could be right. One of the mother's friends is called Praed. The daughter has a romantic partner, even if not a fiancé. A former client of the mother also appears. The mother now owns a chain of brothels across Europe, the source of her wealth. Everything seems to fit your description, modulo small details.


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