Browse by: Keywords Object type Productions Works

Work: Artaud's "The Cenci"

Identifier: WORK.1935.0001
Description: "Antonin Artaud staged his adaptation of The Cenci in 1935, but his extensive use of surrealism in the performance meant that the production was shown only 17 times before closing. Artaud used highly graphic and disturbing images that were meant to release the audience from their current state of mind, especially during the murder scene where the main character Count Cenci (the role that was played by Artaud) is murdered by his two servants. These images were supposed to release what Artaud called the 'savage under the skin', an aim that was commonly used by Artaud in many of his productions."

"Most critics believe that Artaud's most noted contribution to drama theory is his "theater of cruelty," an intense theatrical experience that combined elaborate props, magic tricks, special lighting, primitive gestures and articulations, and themes of rape, torture, and murder to shock the audience into confronting the base elements of life. Les Cenci, Artaud's play about a man who rapes his own daughter and is then murdered by men the girl hires to eliminate him, typifies Artaud's theater of cruelty.Les Cenci was produced in Paris in 1935 but was closed after seventeen dismal performances."
Related Production
Cenci, The (1970)