It is 1814 in the lunatic asylum Charenton where the French aristocrat, philosopher, writer and pornographer, the Marquis de Sade, is passing time by wielding his quill. A prolific and eloquent writer, de Sade spent more than 32 years of his life incarcerated in various prisons and asylums and it was within the prisons that de Sade began the career that would become his legacy.
Sadism is as synonymous with his name as the themes of sadomasochism, paedophilia, incest, sexual perversity, overt eroticism and torture are to his writings. Works such as Justine, or the Misfortunes of Virtue; Juliette; The 120 Days of Sodom; and Philosophy in the Bedroom challenge perceptions of sexuality, religion, law, age, and gender. With all the theatricality and grotesqueries of the Theatre of the Grand Guignol, Quills is a high velocity and wickedly funny ride into a twisted mind.
“Mockingbird Theatre is very excited to be staging the Victorian premiere of Quills,” says Director Chris Baldock. “It is a play that is, without a doubt, not for the faint- hearted.”
“Doug Wright tackles the imagined final days in the life of the Marquis de Sade with all the aberrant and degenerate vigour that is usually assigned to de Sade himself. This makes for a highly provocative, violent, perverse and controversial story that is simultaneously charged with thought-provoking philosophical tirades about the nature of man.”
“Censorship vs. Art. Pornography vs. Sex. Sanity vs. Insanity. Religion vs. Atheism. Humanity vs. Inhumanity. Man vs. Man – such are the debates that run rampant within the work. Such are the opportunities for enquiring minds to ponder. Quills is grand, theatrical and wickedly satisfying. It will penetrate the watcher to the very core – enter if you dare!”
Doug Wright is an American playwright, librettist, and screenwriter. He received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2004 and the Tony Award for Best Play for I Am My Own Wife. Other works include Dinosaurs, The Stonewater Rapture, Watbanaland, Interrogating the Nude and Unwrap Your Candy along with musicals The Little Mermaid, Grey Gardens, Buzzsaw Berkeley, Hands on a Hardbody and the film, Quills, starring Geoffrey Rush and Kate Winslet.
“Cunningly structured and gorgeously written, with every phrase turned to a high, gleaming polish. Quills is a superb piece of writing” – Village Voice
Director: Chris Baldock Principal Cast: Jordan Armstrong, Adrian Carr, Andrea McCannon, Lauren Murtagh, Andi Snelling, Adam Ward, Dylan Watson Assistant Director: Soren Jensen Production Manager: Emma Walmsley Set Designer: Merinda Backway Lighting Designer: Jason Bovaird Assistant Production Manager / Costumes: Kellie Bray Executive Producer / Publicist: Kris Weber
Meat Market – Arts House, 5 Blackwood Street, North Melbourne
Season continues to 15 August 2014
For more information, visit: www.mockingbirdtheatre.com.au for details.
Image: Adam Ward as Dr. Royer-Collard in Quills – photo by Michael Foxington