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THE GREAT WHOREHOUSE FIRE OF 1921

November 23 - November 28

December 29, 1921 Big Valley Alberta News:
“Big Blaze near Big Valley. A house occupied and owned by a woman named Hastings who was living a mile and a half North of town was totally destroyed by fire at 4:30am on Monday morning. The cause of the fire is unknown. The occupants had a very narrow escape, as when they awoke the house was full of smoke and fire. Nothing was saved and the loss is estimated at $4,000. [approx. $50,000 in contemporary funds]. The Hastings woman and another person who was staying with her had to walk into town clad only in night attire with blankets over them, and had a terrible time from cold and exposure. The police are investigating the affair.”

There was no investigation, and no charges were laid. Any references to ‘a woman named Hastings’ and the woman who was staying with her the night of the fire have disappeared from the official annals of Big Valley’s history, being passed down only through local, communal memory: a group of townswomen who banded together to defend their community by burning a local ‘brothel’ to the ground.

Linda Wood Edwards’ play imagines the events as they played out. Moving beyond the stereotypes, the play looks at the uneasy intertwining of prostitution and ‘proper’ society, and the ways that women support and sabotage one another. This historically based drama is laced with, humour and heart.

Details

Start:
November 23
End:
November 28
Event Category:
Website:
northernlighttheatre.com/2021-2022-season/the-great-whorehouse-fire-of-1921/

Venue

Northern Light Theatre
8908-99 St.
Edmonton, Alberta T6E 3V4 Canada
Phone:
780-471-1586

December 29, 1921 Big Valley Alberta News:
“Big Blaze near Big Valley. A house occupied and owned by a woman named Hastings who was living a mile and a half North of town was totally destroyed by fire at 4:30am on Monday morning. The cause of the fire is unknown. The occupants had a very narrow escape, as when they awoke the house was full of smoke and fire. Nothing was saved and the loss is estimated at $4,000. [approx. $50,000 in contemporary funds]. The Hastings woman and another person who was staying with her had to walk into town clad only in night attire with blankets over them, and had a terrible time from cold and exposure. The police are investigating the affair.”

There was no investigation, and no charges were laid. Any references to ‘a woman named Hastings’ and the woman who was staying with her the night of the fire have disappeared from the official annals of Big Valley’s history, being passed down only through local, communal memory: a group of townswomen who banded together to defend their community by burning a local ‘brothel’ to the ground.

Linda Wood Edwards’ play imagines the events as they played out. Moving beyond the stereotypes, the play looks at the uneasy intertwining of prostitution and ‘proper’ society, and the ways that women support and sabotage one another. This historically based drama is laced with, humour and heart.

Details

Start:
November 18
End:
November 21
Event Category:
Website:
northernlighttheatre.com/2021-2022-season/the-great-whorehouse-fire-of-1921/

Venue

Northern Light Theatre
8908-99 St.
Edmonton, Alberta T6E 3V4 Canada
Phone:
780-471-1586