In Praise of Fallen Women

In Praise of Fallen Women
In Praise of Fallen WomenIn Praise of Fallen Women

Photographs by Patrick Baldwin

In Praise of Fallen Women by Kaite O’Reilly, Jean St Clair and Jeni Draper

In Praise of Fallen Woman was born when Jean, Jeni and Kaite O’Reilly (co-founder of fingersmiths) worked together and discovered a shared desire to present work that showed BSL and spoken English equally on stage. Also interested in pushing the boundaries of form, the production used multi-media, played with notions of who was the interpreter on stage, swapping roles mid scene and improvising with the audience. Kaite wrote the stimulus which was then developed through rehearsal, including Jean creating 2 Visual Vernacular monologues. Kaite directed Jean and Jeni in this post modern history of prostitution.

‘…..this was a red-hot brave, brashly beautiful and laudable performance’

‘ …thought provoking, very complex and extremely innovative’

Cast and Creative team

Performed by Jean St Clair and Jeni Draper
Dramaturg/Director – Kaite O’Reilly
Designer – Sophie Lovell-Smith
Lighting Designer – Ian Scott
Film maker/AV Design – Mark Webber
Powerpoint design – Claire Saddleton


The early experimentation of what became the Fingersmiths Ltd and their first production, ‘In Praise of Fallen Women’ was instigated by Kaite O’Reilly as Arts and Humanities Research Council Creative Fellow at Exeter University 2003-06, part of her research through practice ‘Alternative Dramaturgies Informed by a d/Deaf and disability Perspective.’ Initial work was showcased at the research seminar at Exeter University Drama Department 2005.

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