A play by Peter Weiss set in post-revolutionary France in the insane asylum at Charenton. Its full name is The Persecution And Assassination Of Jean-Paul Marat As Performed By The Inmates Of The Asylum At Charenton Under The Direction Of The Marquis De Sade, which is why nobody ever uses it.

A little background: the Marquis de Sade lived out his final years in this very asylum, confined there by his political enemies. To amuse himself, he would write plays and have the other inmates perform them.

Marat/Sade begins with the idea that de Sade wrote a play about the assasination of Marat, and that the inmates are performing this play (so Marat/Sade is also a meta-play). The play-within-a-play gradually deteriorates until...but that would be telling.

This is the only musical I like.

It was made into a marvelous film, with the actors of the Royal Shakespearean Company. The female lead is Glenda Jackson in her film debut, who would go on to a very great fame in films like The Rainbow, and Women in Love, from D.H. Lawrence, and Sunday, Bloody Sunday, all favourites of mine.

Patrick Magee, who played the Marquis de Sade, went on to play the man who was Alex's nemesis in A Clockwork Orange--he was the husband of the woman Alex raped in his salad days. He played the Beethoven that drove Alex to jump out the window.

Some. but not all of this information may be found at www.eonline.com/Facts/Movies/0,60,35489,00.html

During my years at the University of Toronto, this was a favourite film for the repertory film houses. It was our practice to go to this, and other movies many times--if we had been examined on this, at that time, none of us would have failed.

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.