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The Balcony

November 25, 1971 | The Royal Shakespeare Company
Directed by: Terry Hands | Literature: Jean Genet | Costume Design: Farrah | Production Design: Farrah
In Genet's "The Balcony", most of the action takes place in an upmarket brothel in which its madam, Irma (Brenda Bruce), casts, directs, and co-ordinates performances in a house of infinite mirrors and theaters. Genet uses this setting to explore roles of power in society; in the first few scenes patrons assume the roles of a bishop who forgives a penitent, a judge who punishes a thief, and a general who rides his horse. Meanwhile, a revolution is progressing outside in the city and the occupants of the brothel anxiously await the arrival of the Chief of Police.
Cast: Boyd Mackenzie (Armand), Reg Lye (Beggar), Laura Graham (Beggar’s Girl), T P McKenna (Bishop), Frances de la Tour (Bishop’s Girl), John York (Blood), Estelle Kohler (Carmen), Heather Canning (Chantal), Alan Howard (Envoy), Hugh Keays Byrne (Executioner), Philip Locke (General), Helen Mirren (Elyane), Barry Stanton (George), Holly Wilson (Georgette), Brenda Bruce (Irma), Clement McCallin (Judge), Patrick Godfrey (Louis), Terence Taplin (Luke), John Wood (Mark), Patrick Stewart (Roger), Ralph Cotterill (Sperm), Ronald Forfar (Tears), Mary Rutherford (Marlyse), Colin Edwynn (Wounded Man)
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