The Playgoer: Marat/Sade: Still Alienating After All These Years

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Marat/Sade: Still Alienating After All These Years

The Royal Shakespeare Company is having something of a succès de scandale with playwright/director Anthony ("in yer face") Nielson's new modern-dress production of Marat/Sade at their spiffy new Stratford digs:
At one preview show, 80 theatregoers left the show at the interval....A review in the Financial Times called it "comprehensively perverse", adding that it constantly challenges "both dramatic conventions and audience composure". Some of the more shocking scenes include a gang rape and a character being tortured with a Taser.
RSC's response to the walkouts: simply to advertise that the play "is not suitable for younger audiences. Recommended minimum age 16 +."

Nice to see a company stand behind a director, even if it means those many tourist families in Stratford can't bring the kiddies.

I haven't seen it, of course, so maybe it's brilliant, maybe it's crap. But there's something to be said for reminding audiences why an old play was once shocking.

More production photos here.

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