Monday, 17 October 2011


Mr Gnome and I have emerged from tonight's performance of the RSC's new production of Peter Weiss's Marat/Sade

Does this classic example of the 1960s 'theatre of cruelty' still have the power to shock?

You bet.

But it wasn't the profusion of prosthetic willies or the character with compulsive masturbation issues (I know, SO last century) that left one speechless.

It was the Act 1 stunt when cast member Lisa Hammond tried to solicit a sub from an unsuspecting audience member: 'Oh dear, I'm so tired after the performance that I haven't the energy to cook for myself - could you stand me the price of some chips?'

The kindly chump offered her a tenner. Which, naturally, she spurned, berating him for patronising her (she uses a wheelchair). A fellow cast member chipped in, calling the nice man the (in most circs) still unspeakable word. How rude!

So come on, RSC, in what rarefied world is £10 not enough for a single fish supper? Oh please.

Lisa should have asked central character the Marquis de Sade - he'd organise a whip-round before you could say 'Batter my cod piece'.

That said, cast and crew dish up a rollicking revolutionary romp, peppered with a dash of political provocation. And it's all over by 10pm. Hurrah!

Inspired by Monsieur Marat, I whizzed home for an early bath.

And, by the way, Rory is available.

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