Paper $34.00 ISBN: 9780859899963 Published May 2016 For sale in North and South America, Australia, and New Zealand only
Cloth $109.00 ISBN: 9780859899956 Published May 2016 For sale in North and South America, Australia, and New Zealand only

Performing Grand-Guignol

Playing the Theatre of Horror

Richard J. Hand and Michael Wilson

Performing Grand-Guignol

Richard J. Hand and Michael Wilson

Distributed for University of Exeter Press

288 pages | 20 halftones | 6 x 9 | © 2015
Paper $34.00 ISBN: 9780859899963 Published May 2016 For sale in North and South America, Australia, and New Zealand only
Cloth $109.00 ISBN: 9780859899956 Published May 2016 For sale in North and South America, Australia, and New Zealand only
The Théâtre du Grand-Guignol in Paris, which opened in 1897 and closed officially in 1962, specialized in often graphic horror theater. Over the past fifteen years, authors Richard J. Hand and Michael Wilson have worked to explore this extraordinary but largely forgotten theater, running theater workshops with students that at times have led to new productions in the style of the Grand-Guignol. The present volume provides rich insights into the authors’ work performing Grand-Guignol theater with their students, and includes a brief history of the Grand-Guignol as well as translations of sixteen plays from such notable writers as Octave Mirbeau, Gaston Leroux, and St John Ervine in addition to Grand-Guignol stalwarts René Berton and André de Lorde. Performing Grand-Guignol is ideal as an acting guide as well as for anyone with an interest in theater studies or the history of theater.
Contents
Preface

A note on the scripts

Section I: A Brief History of the Théâtre du Grand-Guignol

Section II: The Grand-Guignol Laboratory

Section III: Prefaces and Plays

First Programme

            The Haunted House (La Maison hantée) by Marc Bonis-Charancle

            The Kama Sutra or Never Play with Fire… (Kama Soutra, ou Il ne faut pas joer avec le feu) by Régis Gignoux

            Blind Man’s Buff by Charles Hellem and Pol d’Estoc

            The Light in the Tomb (Gott mit uns! (La Lumière dans la tombeau))by René Berton

Second Programme

            Progress by St. John Ervine

            A Silk Dress (Une Robe de Soie) by Henriette Charasson

            The Great Terror (La Grande épouvante) by André de Lorde and Henri Bauche

Third Programme

            The Wax Museum (Figures de Cire) by André de Lorde and Georges Montignac

            The Lovers (Les Amants) by Octave Mirbeau

            The Man Who Met the Devil (L’homme qui a vu le diable) by Gaston Leroux

            The Man Who Killed Death (L’homme qui a tué la mort) by René Berton
Review Quotes
Choice
“This is the third and, this reviewer assumes, final volume in this important series on the Grand Guignol, a playhouse in Paris that during its time (1897–1962) was renowned as a ‘theatre of horror.’ Hand and Wilson are responsible for all the volumes (including translation of texts). As they did with the previous two volumes, the authors make clear the importance of production in the creation of these unique plays—which often combined horror and comedy—and they devote considerable space to exercises for actors, issues for directors, and details on rehearsal processes. The volume centers on eleven classic examples of Grand Guignol plays—clustered together as they might have been when originally produced—presented in original translations, and each with an in-depth preface. The first volume in the series, Grand-Guignol: The French Theatre of Horror, includes useful background; volume 2, London’s Grand Guignol and the Theatre of Horror, emphasizes the 1920s experiments in the UK. This final volume provides a brief history and a variety of supporting additions, for example, a selective bibliography, photographs, and a summary of the experiments in the UK. Including a few documentary notes, the book represents the work of some fourteen playwrights, all but a couple French. Recommended.”
D. B. Wilmeth | Choice
 “A important series on the Grand Guignol.  Recommended.”
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