The Fair Intellectual Club

A funny, challenging, moving true tale of teenage love, friendship and betrayal set at the dawn of the Scottish Enlightenment.

This new play by comedian Lucy Porter is based on the true story of three Edinburgh girls who formed ‘The Fair Intellectual Club’ in 1717. They recruited other young ladies aged between 15 and 19 with a view to discovering “what we might attain unto if we were as industrious to cultivate our minds as we are to adorn our bodies.”

Members studied literature, science and philosophy and the only grounds for leaving the club were marriage or death. The Fair Intellectuals took an oath to preserve the absolute secrecy of their organisation but were betrayed by an enemy within, who exposed her sisters to scandal, censure and ruin.

Lucy Porter based her play on the original manuscripts of the Club. It was first performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2014 to a sellout run and great critical acclaim. This tour reunites director Marilyn Imrie with original cast; Caroline Deyga, Jessica Hardwick and Samara MacLaren.

Join The Fair Intellectual Club Stellar Quines has created a private Facebook group to celebrate the ethos of The Fair Intellectual Club by cultivating the minds of all the members of the group by sharing articles on literature, science, philosophy, gender equality and The Fair Intellectual Club itself. We welcome contributions from our members and nominations for their own Fair Intellectuals.

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"It’s a superbly written reflection on how far we’ve come in our attitudes to and treatment of women today… howlingly funny & deeply moving piece performed by three extremely talented young women
Mary Woodward, Theatre Times – Edinburgh Fringe 2014 (more)
"It turns The Fair Intellectual Club into a heart-felt and nourishing play about aspiration, change and transformation – and it’ll send you out on an absolute high
Mark Fisher, The Scotsman – Edinburgh Fringe 2014 (more)
"Porter’s script is a constant delight
Thom Dibdin, The Stage – Edinburgh fringe 2014 (more)
"The Fair Intellectual Club: If the warm spirit of Dead Poets Society met Simone de Beauvoir
@edfestmag (more)

Stellar Quines and Marilyn Imrie present The Fair Intellectual Club. A new play by Lucy Porter. Directed by Marilyn Imrie.

Creative Team


Production Tour Dates