|Théâtre du Grand Guignol|
Mel Gordon, The Grand Guignol, 1997. From its beginnings in turn-of-the-century Paris and throughout its sixty-year reign of terror, the Theatre of the Grand Guignol gleefully celebrated horror and fear. Innocent victims, mangled beauty, insanity, mutilation, depravity, and guilt were its primary themes. By dissecting primal taboos in an unprecedentedly graphic manner, it became the progenitor of all the blood-spilling, eye-gouging, and limb-hacking "splatter" movies of today. This first English-language book on Grand Guignol examines its history, themes, and methods; summarizes its plots; provides the texts of two typical plays; and illustrates it with close to 100 pictures.
Richard J. Hand and Michael Wilson, Grand-Guignol: The French Theatre of Horror, University of Exeter Press, 2002. The Théâtre du Grand-Guignol in Paris (1897-1962) achieved a legendary reputation as the 'Theatre of Horror,' a venue displaying such explicit violence and blood-curdling terror that a resident doctor was employed to treat the numerous spectators who fainted each night. Indeed, the phrase 'grand guignol' has entered the language to describe any display of sensational horror.
Since the theatre closed its doors forty years ago, the genre has been overlooked by critics and theatre historians. This book reconsiders the importance and influence of the Grand-Guignol within its social, cultural and historical contexts, and is the first attempt at a major evaluation of the genre as performance. It gives full consideration to practical applications and to the challenges presented to the actor and director.
The book also includes oustanding new translations by the authors of ten Grand-Guignol plays, none of which have been previously available in English. The presentation of these plays in English for the first time is an implicit demand for a total reappraisal of the grand-guignol genre, not least for the unexpected inclusion of two very funny comedies.
Richard J. Hand and Michael Wilson, London's Grand Guignol and the Theatre of Horror, University of Exeter Press, 2008. London’s Grand Guignol—a macabre theatre of naturalistic horror—was established in the early 1920s at the Little Theatre in the West End. Taking its cue from Le Théâtre du Grand-Guignol in Paris, this high-profile venture enjoyed as much critical controversy as popular success. On its side were some of the finest actors of the English stage, such as Sybil Thorndike and Lewis Casson, as well as a team of extremely able writers, including the legendary Noël Coward. London’s Grand Guignol and the Theatre of Horror considers the importance and influence of the Grand Guignol within its social, cultural, and historical contexts, while presenting a selection of ten remarkable Grand Guignol plays, several of which were banned by the Lord Chamberlain, the censor of the day, and have never been publicly performed—including a previously unpublished work by Coward.
The companion volume to Grand-Guignol: The French Theatre of Horror, already in its third edition, this book is an essential addition to any gore-loving student of drama and the twentieth-century theatre of horror.