Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search


Jean Genet’s - The Balcony

“Everything beautiful on earth you owe to masks”

Studio 77, 31 October – 4 November, 7pm

Theatre Duende presents
Jean Genet’s
The Balcony

Click for big version

Jean Genet’s masterpiece of the French Absurd movement The Balcony comes to Victoria University’s Studio 77 in an explosive, large cast production.

Set in a brothel or a “house of illusions”, nine vignettes see those in power play out their fantasies whilst outside there’s a revolution happening. What will happen when the pillars of society lose power? Genet’s text focuses on the sensual threat of danger and tension in this volatile mix of image and reality.

Controversial French writer Jean Genet is best known for The Maids. A French social outcast, he made a conscious decision to live his life as a criminal. He wrote much of his prose work in prison, and when famous French writers such as Satre and Jean Cocteau petitioned successfully for his release, he began his playwriting career.

The Balcony is Stuart Henderson’s major research project for his honours year at the VUW Theatre Department. After directing Ionesco’s The Bald Soprano in 2006, Stuart developed a taste for absurdist drama. Given the play by avant garde enthusiast, VUW Theatre lecturer Matt Wagner, Stuart was “caught by the stage directions…I just wanted to make those amazing images on stage.” With a cast of fifteen, and an insurmountable amount of production elements, Stuart knew there was no way to make this work outside of the Theatre School. He seized the opportunity to make the work in the large black box Studio 77. This significant work of the theatrical absurd movement is rarely produced in New Zealand.

A trained teacher, Stuart will produce a tailor-made package for high schools throughout the Wellington region that allows them to view the performance and access the text’s social relevance. These students will be provided with the structure that enables them to critically reflect on this rarely produced work.

Designed by Stuart Henderson and Jim Davenport
Lighting by Wendy Clease
Directed by Stuart Henderson

For more information please contact Eleanor Bishop –

31 Oct – 4 Nov 2007, 7pm
Studio 77 – 77 Fairlie Terrace, Kelburn, Wellington
Tickets: Full Price $12 Concessions $8
Bookings: or 04 463 5359


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>

Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>

Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>

Howard Davis: Byrneing Down the House - Spike Lee's American Utopia

Lee does an admirable job capturing Byrne's stunning live performance of his latest album, but the real star of the show is the staging. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland