The story of a woman, for the woman, by a woman – there is no better way to describe the aesthetically exhilarating and thought provoking Honour: Confessions of a Mumbai Courtesan. Like a mirror staring back at us, the solo act is a reflection of society’s tainted soul.
Penned and performed by Dipti Mehta (The Blacklist, One Life to Live) and directed by Mark Cirnigliaro, Honour: Confessions of a Mumbai Courtesan tells the tale of Rani a bright shining star born into the darkness of social construct. Caged by her mother’s past, Rani’s only ambition is to fly the open skies but fate has other plans for this hatch-ling. Through her journey, she learns that her enticing open sky is nothing but a cloudy stormy mess the guardians of society have brewed with their polluted thought process. As Rani stretches her wings to embrace the open skies, the insolent tongues of ignorant men and women cut through her feathers forcing her to fall back into the quicksand of bondage and slavery. As their harsh words hinder her flight to a fulling life, their fingers weigh her down to the ground in the form of victim blaming.
Part of Borderless, the new series by Jersey City Theater Center (JCTC) at Merseles Studios, the play sought to open the hearts and minds of audiences to the controversial topic of human trafficking. For the first time in decades sex workers were portrayed as the victims they truly are rather than the blemish on society we make them out to be. Each character brought to life the different characteristics of society which come together create the monster we call social stigma.
Aside from the social message this one woman show provides,Honour: Confessions of a Mumbai Courtesan also practices what it preaches. The team of Honour: Confessions of a Mumbai Courtesan has teamed up with an international non-profit (Apne Aap) which provides aid to victims of sex trade. A noble thought, a noble deed and an entertaining performance, what more can the audience ask for? Urban Asian gives Honour: Confessions of a Mumbai Courtesan a 5 out of 5.