Photo from Marat/Sade

The Advertiser

Peter Weiss' controversial play isn't for the faint hearted. Nor, alas, is it for emerging artists.
Far from being what one writer called "a terrifying pageant", it's beyond most of the players, brave performances in the lead roles notwithstanding. The result is that the shackled patients, cruel nuns, debauched priests, and even the bath-bound Marat, come across as caricatures that sensations like Sade's penetration with a gavel, not to mention buckets of blood, can't salvage. Marat/Sade has its humour, yes, and some dastardly deeds of vaudevillian character, but it's not, repeat not, a funny piece.
The Brechtian songs – a welcome airing of these – and an imaginative design add to the production; but as the director says in the program, "Why did you choose this play?"

reviewed by Peter Burdon


Here is a link to my review of the play, enjoy! [copied from]
Posted by: Lauren Montgomery of Adelaide 6:15pm April 05, 2007
Comment 5 of 5

Thank you for your comments, John & Christine... I'm glad that I'm not alone in my discontent...I've been working on my own review of this play, I'll post a link when I've completed it.
Posted by: Lauren Montgomery of Adelaide 8:42pm April 04, 2007
Comment 4 of 5

I read the reviewer's comments several times and could not understand the points he was trying to convey (if there were any). The director used his cast brilliantly to analyse the serious social comment while at the same time ensuring that the stage was vibrant and interesting for the audience. The actors who played Marat and de Sade showed maturing beyond the level of "student" with the support of the rest of the cast who were quite convincing with their roles of the insane, highlights being the drooling Duperret, the revengeful Charlotte Corday. The musician and singers, together with the two nuns, brought another facet to the all encompassing theatrical experience.
Posted by: Christine Salem of Adelaide 11:45am April 04, 2007
Comment 3 of 5

I too completely disagree with the reviewer. I don't think the reviewer asked why the director made specific artistic choices, from casting Marat as a woman to the final political comment at the end of the play. There is no mention of these gestures? Where's the critique, where's the analysis, where's the depth of thought in this review? I agree with Lauren that the play does pose serious questions, which were made quite clearly by the cast in their performance. I walked away asking questions.
Posted by: John Carpenter of Adelaide 10:54pm April 03, 2007
Comment 2 of 5

I completely disagree with this and I certainly do not think this play was beyond the players. It may not have suited personal tastes but it would be nice to think that one could write about this in a way that is devoid of personal criticism. It never claims to be a "funny" piece. It's very nature is a serious one. The play poses some very serious questions about the inequality between the lower and the richer classes. What is insanity really but an inability to conform to societal rules and ideals...?

Posted by: Lauren Montgomery of Adelaide 2:21pm March 30, 2007
Comment 1 of 5