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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 –
eleanorbishop@gmail.com

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

ENDS

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