The sex slave trade taking place in Britain is a serious issue and merits a serious discussion; in this sense Fair Trade should be commended for provoking the issue, especially with the impending Olympic Games in London. At several points the anecdotes taken from two genuine accounts almost become appeals as the victims realise they could have been sitting next to you on the underground, just like any other stranger.
Theatre is a fine medium for raising awareness amongst the wider public, although a clumsy instrument for defining future policy on problems. As demand for prostitution increases in London (from the influx of Olympic-goers), there is a sad faceless truth that the market will respond by increasing supply.
It’s hardly surprising, then, when looked at through the cold lens of the dismal science of economics, as opposed to moving anecdotes, that several British newspapers have supported the idea of legalising prostitution. Legalise, regulate, even tax it. None of this is even suggested in the performance. (Oddly enough, it is an area the comic Jim Jeffries touches on, seeing the legalisation in Australia as indicative of the good sense of the country.)
Fair Trade is moving and left more than one member of the audience wiping away the tears. At moments the feeling of grief curdles into sickness and repulsion at the depth humanity sinks to. This is a well-acted performance with heavy subject matter, which will hopefully continue to provoke.