Marat/Sade by Peter Brook
7:45pm Tickets £5 advance (CLICK HERE) £6.50 0n the door
Verso Books and Gareth Evans present
Peter Brook's Marat/Sade introduced by Eric Hazan
Presented in association with Gareth Evans to mark the publication of A People's History of the French Revolution
A rare screening of Peter Brook's remarkable film adaptation of Peter Weiss' path-breaking theatre work, to celebrate publication in English by Verso Books of Eric Hazan's acclaimed A People's History of the French Revolution (translated by David Fernbach), a bold new account from the standpoint of the peasants, workers, women and 'sans culottes'.
"The problem of bringing a play to the screen has been approached in many ways, often disastrously, but it is hard to recall a film that solves it so triumphantly as Peter Brook's Marat/ Sade. In Brook's original (RSC) stage production, the levels of the drama were made clear by the theatre situation itself. Everyone was present in the flesh. Here were the inmates, putting on their play. Here was the Marquis de Sade, prompting the actors and defending his production to the outraged asylum director. Here were the director, his wife and daughter. And there, beyond the footlights, was the audience - of both 1808 and 1967.
(For the film) Brook retained the original script, unaltered so far as I could tell. He used most of the members of the Royal Shakespeare Company in their original roles. He more or less reproduced the large communal cell of the stage production. Beyond the bars he placed an audience, which we see only in silhouette. He made one wall of the cell uniformly bright, supplying all the light for the filming.
The actors are superb. When we first see the Marquis (Patrick Magee), he looks steadily into the camera for half a minute and the full terror of his perversion becomes clearer than any dialogue can make it. Glenda Jackson, as Marat's assassin Charlotte Corday, weaves back and forth between the melancholy of her mental illness and the fire of the role she plays. Ian Richardson, as Marat, still advocates violence and revolution even though thousands have died and nothing has been accomplished.
Brook has achieved the very difficult. He has taken an important play, made it more immediate and powerful than it was on the stage, and at the same time created a distinguished and brilliant film." – Roger Ebert
Dir Peter Brook UK / Sweden 1967; 116 mins. With Patrick Magee, Iain Richardson, Glenda Jackson and Freddie Jones