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Play by Jean Genet, produced and published in 1956 as Le Balcon, and translated by Bernard Frechtman. Influenced by the Theater of Cruelty, The Balcony contains nine scenes, eight of which are set inside the Grand Balcony bordello. The brothel is a repository of illusion in a contemporary European city aflame with revolution. After the city's royal palace and rulers are destroyed, the bordello's costumed patrons impersonate the leaders of the city. As the masqueraders warm to their roles, they convince even the revolutionaries that the illusion created in the bordello is preferable to reality.
“The Balcony is probably the most stunning subversive work of literature to be created since the writings of the famous Marquis. A major dramatic achievement.” – Robert Brustein, The New Republic
mirror, but the One and Only, into whom a hundred thousand want to merge. If not for me, you'd have all been done for. The THE 80 expression "beaten hollow" would have had meaning. (He is going to regain his authority increasingly.) THE QUEEN (to the Bishop, insinuatingly) : You happen to be wearing that robe this even i ng simply because you were unable to clear out of the studios in time. You j ust couldn't tear yourself away from one of your hundred thousand reflection s, but the clients
the police�stations. . . . . . • • . . . • . 81 . . • . . GENERAL : The slowness of the carriage . . . QUEEN : Will I therefore never be who I am? mE ENVOY : Never again. THE QUEEN : Every event o f my life-my blood that trickles if I scratch my s elf. . . . THE ENVOY : Everything will be written for you with a capital letter. THE QUEEN : But that's Death? THE ENVOY : It is indeed. THE CHIEF OF POLICE (with sudden authority) : It means death for all of you. And that's why I'm
and handing him a cighr) : It's on the house. ROGER (putting the cigar into his mouth) : Thanks. CARMEN (taking the cigar from h im) : That end's for the light. This one's for the mouth. (She turns the cigar around.) Is this your first cigar? ROGER : Yes (A pause.) I'm not asking for your advice. You're here to serve me, I've paid . . . . CARMEN : I beg your pardon, sir. ROGER : The slave? CARMEN : He's being untied. ROGER : He knows what it's about? CARMEN : Completely. You're the first. You're
door, then another, then a third, unable to find the right one. ROGER takes out a kn ife and, with his back to the audience, makes the gesture of castrating h imself.) THE QUEEN : On my rugs ! On the new carpet ! He's a lunatic! CARMEN (crying out) : Doing that here ! (She yells) Madame ! Mme Irma ! (cARMEN finally manages to drag Roger o u t.) (TIlE QUEEN rushes from the room. All the characters-the CHIEF OF POLlCE, TIlE ENVOY, THE JUDGE, THE GENERA!:., THE BISHOp-turn and leave the port-holes.
flames, the others to the b oredom of the fields of asphodel. You, thief, spy, she-dog, Minos is speaking to you, Minos weighs you. (To the Executioner) Cerberus? 17 THE EXECUTIONER (imitating the dog): Bow-wow, bow-wow! You're handsome ! And the sight of a fresh victim makes .you even handsomer. (He curls up the Executioner's lips.) Show your fangs. Dreadful. White. (Suddenly he seems anxious. To the Thief) But at least yo u ' re not lying about those thefts-you did commit them, didn't yo