A companion to UEP's Grand-Guignol: The French Theatre of Horror (now in its third reprint). A genre that has left more of a mark on British and American culture than we may imagine" (Gothic Studies).
London's Grand Guignol was established in the early 1920s at the Little Theatre in the West End. It was a high-profile venture that enjoyed popular success as much as critical controversy. On its side were some of the finest actors on the English stage, in the shape of Sybil Thorndike and Lewis Casson, and a team of extremely able writers, including Noel Coward.
London's Grand Guignol and the Theatre of Horror considers the importance and influence of the English Grand Guignol within its social, cultural and historical contexts. It also presents a selection of ten remakarble English-language Grand Guignol plays, some of which were banned by the Lord Chamberlain, the censor of the day, and have never been published or publicly performed. Among the plays in the book is a previously unpublished work by Noel Coward, The Better Half, first performed at the Little Theatre in 1922.
The reviewer in the journal Gothic Studies wrote, of the authors' previous book: "having recently taught a module on Grand Guignol with third year drama students, it is also worth noting that this book captured their imaginations in a way that few other set texts seem to manage."
Richard J. Hand is Professor of Media Practice and Head of Media, Film and TV Studies at University of East Anglia. Michael Wilson is Professor of Drama at Loughborough University. Together they have delivered workshops on Grand Guignol, and presented Grand Guignol performances at universities, international conferences and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
SECTION 1 Chapter 1: A History of London's Grand Guignol Chapter 2: London's Grand Guignol and Issues of Genre and Writing Chapter 3: London's Grand Guignol: Performers and Performing Chapter 4: London's Grand Guignol: Censorship and Reception Chapter 5: London's Grand Guignol and the Reviewers Chapter 6: The Aftermath and Legacy of London's Grand Guignol SECTION 2 Ten Plays of London's Grand Guignol Eight O'Clock by Reginald Berkeley A Man in Mary's Room by Gladys Unger Private Room Number 6 by Andre de Lorde The Person Unknownby H. F. Maltby Latitude 15 DegreesSouthby Victor MacClure The Old Women by Christopher Holland The Nutcracker Suite by Eliot Crawshay-Williams The Sisters' Tragedy by Richard Hughes The Better Half by Noel Coward I Want To Go Home by H. F. Maltby APPENDICES Appendix 1 London's Grand Guignol, 1920-22Appendix 2 The Complete Repertoire of London's Grand Guignol, 1920-22 Appendix 3 Extract from Oh, Hell!!! A `Revuette' by Reginald Arkell and Russell Thorndike Bibliography