Disguising the worst perversities with a mixture of gallantry and wit – that is an art in which both the Marquis de Sade and the playwright excel. Thanks to outstanding actors the staging is highly provocative without being vulgar. Thus, even those theatregoers who might get unsettled in the presence of the Marquis de Sade, can be at ease with this suggestive experience.
Marquis de Sade – a perverted deviant for some and one of the greatest thinkers of his time for others – involuntarily spends the close of his life in the Chareton Asylum. But even there he refuses to give up his obsessive writing, sneaking his texts out of the madhouse with the help of the lusty seamstress Madeleine. Pushed by the new director of the hospital, a young Abbé decides to eradicate de Sade’s perversity, using harsher and harsher methods. Yet can certain ideas that strike us ever be obliterated for good? And doesn’t de Sade mean it as a provocation?
The rousing drama by the U.S. playwright Doug Wright (born in 1962), which inspired a film of the same name starring Geoffrey Rush and Kate Winslet, presents us with burning questions of freedom, censorship and human invincibility. Somehow, it reminds us of Kesey in Miloš Forman’s film One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Owing to the masterly translation by the Czech translator of Nabokov’s Lolita, Pavel Dominik, the expressive language of the awardee of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize (for his monodrama I Am My Own Wife) is not encumbered with tawdry vulgarisms.
Critical review: “… and of course Martin Siničák in the role of Marquis de Sade who almost never leaves the stage! He enacts the free-thinker with vigorous energy, portraying a man who is both suffering and indomitable. He enacts an emotionally disrupted writer and an enraged kvetch. When properly fulfilled, such a role ranks among the parts of one’s life. And Siničák, under the masterful direction of Martin Glaser, has entirely seized his opportunity.”