October 2017: Guignol

“(The room is very dark. Henri sits in a dressing gown with his back to the audience. His head is wrapped in bandages. He lights up a hubble-bubble and a sticky smell of opium clouds up. The door opens very slowly and the Doctor and Nurse step in.)

DOCTOR: You do realize, Henri, that my professional standing does not allow me to condone this.”

Maurice Level, The Final Kiss - 1912

Ah, Grand-Guignol. A curious little theatre-form out of twentieth century Paris, the style is famed for its extreme violence. The notion of theatres staging nurses and doctors and nurses in the house, made famous by Frankenstein, started here as a marketing gimmick implemented by the theatre's owner, who knew how to play into a myth. 

Although horror theatre may be relatively little know, THE FINAL KISS is one of the most significant entries in the genre. The play concerns the above-mentioned Henri, who was horribly scarred by an "accident" involving some acid. And it concerns what he intends to do about it.