Scott is better than he ever was, and this production is a good one. But the real importance of the occasion lies in that this play, which was introduced to America in Cambridge kudos to John Eyre the introducer , exists on a stage again in all its striking significance. Genet writes of prison life with an almost unique authenticity, not only as a criminal, but as a philosopher of criminality. Many writers have cried with Eartha Kitt, "I wanna be evil," and written accordingly; but Genet is evil. The Oscar Wilde of Salome, and perhaps the Tennessee Williams of Suddenly Last Summer, appear as if they might have wanted to be Genet when they grew up; compared to him they are only dilettantes of degradation. When they write of the most deep-going taint they can imagine, they are on the outside looking eagerly in, almost with their noses pressed against the glass.
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The equation is of course perverse, but it offers a penetrating glimpse inside the criminal mind and also becomes something of a reverse mirror image of civilization.
The play is a contest. Maurice and Lefranc grind away at each other—like sandpaper on the brain. Finally, in anger, and to prove himself. Lefranc strangles Maurice, a senseless murder. And, as such, it has an undeniable fascination. Joann Green, as director, begins by emphasizing the ritualistic aspects of the play. Maurice hums incessantly, Lefranc drums his hand against his cot, Green Eyes stares into space and then clangs his chains against the floor—until we feel the narrowness, the heavy oppressiveness of the prison.
Basically, the director approaches the play on a naturalistic level—perhaps seeking to make the argument more dramatic. The characters push and shove one another. They explode into temperament. The staging is, if anything, too tangible. One could imagine a more indirect, experimental treatment. As the author said in his own stage directions.
Genet's Deathwatch in New York
The equation is of course perverse, but it offers a penetrating glimpse inside the criminal mind and also becomes something of a reverse mirror image of civilization. The play is a contest. Maurice and Lefranc grind away at each other—like sandpaper on the brain. Finally, in anger, and to prove himself. Lefranc strangles Maurice, a senseless murder.
Find showtimes, watch trailers, browse photos, track your Watchlist and rate your favorite movies and TV shows on your phone or tablet! The French text of Deathwatch, published by I plan on reading more of his stuff. Return to Book Page. Edit Storyline A small-time thief battles with his gay cellmate over a third illiterate, muscular convict. Articles lacking sources from July All articles lacking sources Articles containing French-language text All stub articles.