From the outside it looks like all the other Victorian terraces tightly packed on the slopes of Muesli Mountain.

But for the last month a Hanover home in Brighton has been operating as a brothel - a poetry brothel, that is.

The Young Hanoverians caused quite a stir when they listed their event in the Festival Fringe brochure, describing the venue as a "Hanover Massage Parlour".

One reader was so incensed by the idea she wrote to complain that it was an assault on both family values and the feminist struggle.

But as The Argus discovered on a visit last Saturday, a trip to the brothel is satisfying - but purely in the literary sense.

The front door to 27 Southampton Street - actually the home of poet Jimmy McGee, who dreamed up the brothel idea with fellow wordsmith Chris Parkinson, was wide open when we arrived.

After a few seconds, a dark-haired girl clutching a ukulele appeared from one of the bedrooms and led a friend and I downstairs into a small living room lit with fairy lights.

We were invited to sit down and peruse a menu of poets, decorated with the brothel crest - which features an owl, a polar bear and a quill.

After nibbling thoughtfully on a plate of cheese and tomato sandwiches, clipped neatly of their crusts, we were led back upstairs to a bedroom.

Our first visitor was a blonde French woman wearing fishnet stockings, crop top and an over-sized belly-button ring, who asked us where we would like her to perform.

"Wherever you like!" we said, shifting nervously on the bed.

She elected to stand while she read us a selection of risqué rhymes, pausing only to smile seductively.

Next up was Angry Sam, founder of the Brighton branch of spoken word night Hammer and Tongue.

Though he did not perform in character, it was an intense experience.

Brothel founder Chris, who has perfect diction and sideburns Pushkin would have been proud of, was our final visitor.

After delivering a brilliant set of poems, he sat down and explained what it had all been about.

He said: "We're always trying to think of a new way to bring our work to new audiences, and we came up with the idea of poetry brothel about a year ago.

"Usually, you're speaking to a whole crowd so this is a very intimate way to perform.

"You can study faces more intently than if you're just looking at a crowd of people.

"There's an immediacy to it, which is lovely.

"It's been a very strange experience, for us as poets as well as the audience."

More than a 100 people have visited the brothel so far.

Chris said: "We've had all sorts of people. One couple even bought their children.

"They loved it. They were constantly demanding animal poems."

  • The Poetry Brothel has been awarded an Argus Angel for artistic excellence. It is open for the last time on Saturday, from 10am to 6pm