THE audience at Malvern’s Festival Theatre might well be forgiven for looking over their shoulders when the theatre stages Mrs Warren’s Profession throughout this week.

Written by Bernard Shaw in 1894 its first performance in New York ended when the police stopped the play and arrested the cast!

Dealing as it does with prostitution it was not allowed a public performance for the next 30 years… But it’s highly unlikely that Malvern audiences, nor the cast, will suffer the same fate when the play opens on Tuesday, July 29 (7.30pm) and runs through to next Saturday.

Shaw’s period drama centres around Vivie Warren, a young Cambridge graduate, who is horrified to learn that her education and entire luxurious life-style has been financed by her mother’s career in the world’s oldest profession.

Not only did it come under fire in New York, due to its frank portrayal of Mrs Warren’s profession, this groundbreaking play was also originally banned in England by the Lord Chamberlain.

Shaw’s play is full of insight and humane understanding and ranks as one of his masterpieces, alongside Pygmalion, Saint Joan and Man and Superman.

Starring in Mrs Warren’s Profession will be Sue Holderness, Christopher Timothy and Emily Woodward.