December 15, 2004 5:14 AM   Subscribe

The Theatre du Grand-Guignol was a French theatre that was famous for one thing: bloody awful plays. The theatre produced gory plays that gauged its success by the amount of people that fainted in the audience. unfortunately due to the excessive amount of violence in their plays, they became a parody of themselves. People lost interest and the form of gore theatre was lost. until fairly recently.
posted by joelf (12 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Another form of "gore theatre". And yet another.
posted by cgc373 at 5:35 AM on December 15, 2004

Back when I was in highschool, my drama teacher asked our class to prepare a scene from any style/school of theatre we wanted. I remember flipping through a theatre history book and coming across Grand-Guignol and thinking, "Yes, this will do just fine." My group staged a quadruple amputation. Didn't get a great mark, but, man, the hash-smoking metal dudes in my class thought I was the shit for about a week.
posted by theinsectsarewaiting at 5:54 AM on December 15, 2004 [1 favorite]

Strangely, I found this Italian dog kennel with the name grand Guignol. Thought it was pretty funny.
posted by joelf at 5:58 AM on December 15, 2004

You'll never get MY dog, you bastards!
posted by cgc373 at 6:05 AM on December 15, 2004

I found this writeup of a Grand-Guignol tribute a few years ago (it's got some contemporary poster art). You may also recognize the Grand-Guignol as the inspiration for the Theatre des Vampyres in Anne Rice's Interview with the Vampire.

See also Uncle Cecil.
posted by norm at 6:43 AM on December 15, 2004

Lupo the Butcher (NSFW) was a postmodern wink to the old stagecraft.
posted by Smart Dalek at 6:50 AM on December 15, 2004

It's just a flesh wound! Need another example? They had this at the UCB theater over Halloween.
posted by fungible at 7:39 AM on December 15, 2004

My group staged a quadruple amputation.

How do you make this stuff look real?
Cool post.
posted by stray at 9:17 AM on December 15, 2004


We were low-tech. Stuffed gloves and boots. Wooden rulers to create a satisfying bone crunch. Plastic bags filled with red paint, squeezed by the patient, to create awesome arterial bleeding (apparently I'm channeling my 15 year old self). I'm sure they're still rinsing the carpet.
posted by theinsectsarewaiting at 11:36 AM on December 15, 2004

Japan had its own tradition of gore in its kizewamono Kabuki production. Searching for a decent link...

In the meantime, this is good!
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:22 PM on December 15, 2004

the Hypnodrome is... Fabulous.

but seriously, the Zombie DNA show in SF this past April was full of gore and brains and hot, dead chicks, replete with Scienticians in head cages and a blood-and-guts-spewing Zombie-Shredder.
posted by zombiejesus at 1:28 PM on December 15, 2004

The tradition of Grand Guignol also inspired Stephen Sondheim's masterpiece "Sweeney Todd".
posted by Asparagirl at 6:40 PM on December 15, 2004

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