I Am The Marquis! (Goo Goo G’joob)

I’m rather pleased and not a little daunted to be able to say that I’ve been cast as the notorious Marquis de Sade in a new production by Carlton Dramatic Society.

The iniquitous Marquis de Sade is imprisoned in the asylum of Charenton for endangering public morals. There he continues to write scandalous novels and plays. He is allowed to stage some of his plays and as a form of therapy the hospital’s patients are encouraged to take part in them. Sade’s scandalous productions provided a delicious outing for the cream of Parisian society.

In Marat/Sade, Sade dramatizes the stabbing of the French revolutionary Jean-Paul Marat, who was murdered in his bath. In his production he uses a cast of narcoleptics, paranoiacs and schizophrenics.

This is a play within a play. It uses all the devices of contemporary theatre and was regarded in the 1960’s as one of the most avant-garde plays of its time. The present adaptation wants to build on that tradition and contemporises the points of discussion of the play. One of the aims of this production is to create an environment where the line between audience and performance is blurred – a total theatre. It is also an opportunity to explore new areas in theatre production and acting. Actors will have to act someone acting in a play – i.e. they will have to act to act!

We’ve had a couple of rehearsals already, and far in the first scene I have to imagine (and vocalise) what I would like to do to all my fellow actors. I do this all the time anyway, but being forced to do it is slightly unnerving. A fellow cast member has suggested the cast all go and get drunk together, to break the ice a bit. Well worth it.

I’ll post my rehearsal experiences here, and during the show week, post a performance diary, like I did for Two last November. Something for the cast to look at backstage.