HONOUR: Confessions of a Mumbai Courtesan

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Quebec premiere of this vibrant, award-winning show, including Time Out NYC top ten pick

Engaging performance examines the many facets of inter-generational prostitution

Teesri Duniya Theatre presents

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HONOUR: Confessions of a Mumbai Courtesan

Written and performed by Dipti Mehta

Directed by Mark Cirnigliaro

Original Score by Rhythm Tolee; Choreography by Monica Kapoor

Thursday, October 3 – Sunday, October 6, 5 shows only

“HONOUR is as mysterious, logical, tragic, empathetic and kind as life itself.” — Gloria Steinem

Click to see an excerpt from HONOUR

Montreal, September 2019- Though Dipti Mehta’s HONOUR: Confessions of a Mumbai Courtesan seems like a world away, today’s domestic headlines are rife with disturbing reports about sex-trafficked girls as news unfolds about Jeffrey Epstein as well as Aboriginal girls and women. Mehta’s story is a poignant, deeply-moving yet entertaining look at the exotic, dangerous life of Mumbai’s real-life brothels and why they exist. Teesri Duniya Theatre is proud to present this important show playing at MAI from October 3-6 for five performances only. Continuing their mandate to encourage dialogue, the Theatre will hold a post-show talkback after Saturday’s matinee. Mature content warning—ages 13+.

A multiple award-winner including Best Actress and Best Solo show, HONOUR: Confessions of a Mumbai Courtesan is an attempt to break stereotypes and raise awareness of the social stigma existing around sex workers by bringing forth their humanity. When Rani, who was born and raised in the Mumbai Brothels, falls in love, she stirs up the ire of the community. Can she escape her fate? The colours of India are brought to life through original music, dance and storytelling, engaging viewers on a visceral level and connecting the hearts of the characters to those in the audience. Through Mehta’s versatile and riveting performance, blending classic Mahabharata as well as Bollywood references, theatre-goers visit India’s red light district and meet the eunuch, priest, pimp, mother and daughter who call it home. When all the labels are taken away, what remains is a parent, child, friend; all trying to survive and create a safe haven for their family, to experience life—filled with hopes, dreams, laughter, innocence and heartbreak.

For Teesri Duniya Theatre Artistic Director Rahul Varma, the time is right to connect the global with the local, “Sexual aggression has gone on practically soundlessly and irrepressibly up until the #MeToo movement. Nonetheless, many women trapped in the sex-trade live in silence with no voice to be heard. The story of a girl child in a Mumbai brothel helps puts a face to over 2.5 million sex-trafficked girls the world over, including those closer to home,” he said.

As a child growing up in Mumbai, Mehta remembers quickly passing by forbidden neighbourhoods with kids in brothels. “It disturbs me that we don’t think of the children from the red light districts along with the plight of their mothers; while I perform the show there are young girls losing their chance at having a normal life,” she said. “HONOUR addresses sexism, human rights issues and women’s rights issues. I wanted to tell a story about a mother and a daughter, they just happen to be in a brothel. A mother yearns for the same things for her child whether she is a doctor, lawyer or prostitute—she wants her child to prosper and have a better life than her own, no matter what she does to put food on the table,” she added. Pointing further to today’s relevance, Mehta explained, “We have more slaves now than we have ever had in the history of humankind. These slaves are the result of human trafficking; 81% of human trafficking happens for sex, including children.” HONOUR: Confessions of a Mumbai Courtesan tells a dark story with humour and compassion.

HONOUR: Confessions of a Mumbai Courtesan Oct. 3-6, 5 shows only

Teesri Duniya Theatre at MAI, 3680 rue Jeanne-Mance

The show runs: Thurs.-Sat. at 8pm, plus matinees on Sat. and Sun. at 2pm—Oct. 5, 6

There will be a post-show talkback after the Saturday, October 5 matinee.

For tickets: 514 848-0238 or online at Teesri Duniya Theatre

$20-$28 (various discounts: students/seniors/groups)


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Founded in 1981, Teesri Duniya Theatre reflects Canada’s multicultural, multiracial, and Indigenous reality, promoting critical thinking, community connections, and intercultural dialogue.


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