Publication date:31 July 2019
Length of book:320 pages
PublisherUniversity of Exeter Press
From the authors of the successful Grand-Guignol and London’s Grand Guignol - also published by UEP – this book includes translations of a further eleven plays, adding significantly to the repertoire of Grand-Guignol plays available in the English language. The emphasis in the translation and adaptation of these plays is once again to foreground the performability of the scripts within a modern context – making Performing Grand-Guignol an ideal acting guide.
Hand and Wilson have acquired extremely rare acting copies of plays which have never been published and scripts that were published in the early years of the twentieth century but have not been published since – even in French. Includes plays written by, or adapted from, such notable writers as Octave Mirbeau, Gaston Leroux and St John Ervine as well as examples by Grand-Guignol stalwarts René Berton and André de Lorde. Also included is the 1920s London translation of Blind Man’s Buff written by Charles Hellem and Pol d’Estoc and banned by the Lord Chamberlain.
A brief history of the Parisian theatre is also included, for the benefit of readers who have not read the previous books.
From reviews of Grand-Guignol: The French Theatre of Horror (UEP, 2002)
‘Richard J. Hand and Michael Wilson . . . manage in a number of telling ways to make the subject their own. . . . Hand and Wilson’s main interest in Grand Guignol is . . . that of present-day theatre practitioners seeking to understand how these pieces might be able to work for fresh audiences. . . . they also prove themselves to be highly astute when it comes to examining these works in the light of contemporary (especially post-Freudian) critical theory. . . . performance practice is continually interrogated by critical and historical insight.’ (Gothic Studies, August 2003)
‘… the genre has left more of a mark on British and American culture than we may imagine.’ (Gothic Studies, May 2004)
From reviews of London’s Grand Guignol and the Theatre of Horror (UEP, 2007)
‘...Richard J. Hand and Michael Wilson, who have previously written on the French Grand Guignol for this excellent series from the University of Exeter Press, now turn to the English variant...’
‘...London’s Grand Guignol is a fine introduction to a neglected corner of the twentieth-century arts world.’ (Times Literary Supplement, 18 April 2008)
‘...London’s Grand Guignol allows Hand and Wilson to make a persuasive case for Grand Guignol’s place not only in modern theatre history, but also in the film history of thrillers and horror films. This book will be useful as a hands-on theatre history and practice text for programs where one might imagine offering students an opportunity to apply their creativity to the same challenges Jose Levy faced.’ (Theatre Survey, Vol. 50/2, November 2009)