Reformatory For Sinners



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The third in this trilogy of period productions from Gaslight depicts the then popular Victorian practice of attempting character reform, through the liberal use of corporal punishment on young ladies who displayed a loose moral character. It is set within the kind of typical institution to which young ladies of the night, or indeed any young lady of dubious moral conduct may have found herself sent, by a judicial court or even by anxious parents. Little did the authorities suspect that the practices that occurred therein were themselves of even a more dubious nature. The Reformatory is run by a fanatically religious and strict Matron, feeling it her moral duty to try and save the souls of her two wards, Molly and Nell, who have fallen by the wayside in their pursuit of the pleasures of the flesh.

They are made to change from their gaudy street attire to more sombre uniforms. They have to attend chapel daily, eat a most frugal diet and live a restrictive lifestyle of cleanliness, tidiness and prayer. Needless to say, in their attempt to rebel against this conformity they suffer the indignity of being spanked and birched by Matron.She humiliates them further by making them strip naked to be punished with her leather strap. The final straw comes when they are caught not only having smuggled food and drink into their dormitory, which is against the rules, but also in the process of 'comforting' each other in bed. For this they are both caned in turn over a padded horse that she keeps in her study. The scenario is crafted to portray a sense of authentic historical re-enactment with the initial atmosphere and style of a period drama building, before launching straight into the punishments. We feel this adds to the watchability of the piece as a whole, as the story unfolds.

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Reformatory For Sinners

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