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<  General  ~  Taped Grand Guignol performances?

Posted: Sat Mar 10, 2007 8:39 pm Reply with quote
New Member Joined: 10 Mar 2007 Posts: 1 Location: Bay Area, Cali.
Would anyone be able to tell me if there are any taped Grand Guignol performances from the original theater in France, or if not, if there any of the Thrillpeddlers performances that are taped and for sale?

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Posted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 9:38 pm Reply with quote
New Member Joined: 15 Nov 2004 Posts: 9
The only videos that I've seen are the ones for sale through a french website and they are not from the original GG. I think the set of three runs about $150. I forget the address but you can find them by searching GG at & look at the bottom of the page.

I'm not sure if Russell videos Thrillpeddlers or not.

Good luck!
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Daniel Zilber
Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 3:27 pm Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 16 Sep 2003 Posts: 35 Location: Alameda, CA
The only film of an actual Grand Guignol performance, that I'm aware of, is the clip on our video page from the movie ECCO.

The French videotapes mentioned above can be found at I haven't seen them myself, but have heard that they are essentially low quality, amateur productions.

I think there's a reason for the dearth of Grand Guignol film and video. Performing a Grand Guignol play is a lot like performing a magic trick. Much of the effect depends on the anticipation,, the set-up, the atmosphere, a little sleight-of-hand, and finally, the imagination of the audience to fill in the blanks. If done well, the audience will come away believing they've seen something much more horrible than what you were actually able to do on stage.

The audience manipulation "tricks" which work so well in a small, live theatre just seem fall flat on video. We did videotape some of the early Thrillpeddlers shows, but as we watched them we noticed that what seems intense in the giddy excitement of a crowded theatre setting, can look downright silly (or boring) when captured on video. Plus, releasing a film or video would answer the main question that drives new audiences to buy tickets to our shows: "What really goes on in there, and is it as gruesome and terrifying as I've heard?" That curiosity is a key marketing tool. I suspect the original Grand Guignol company understood this, and knew that releasing films of their shows would effectively kill the mystique.

A theatre company in Portland did an evening of Grand Guignol last year and have posted the videos to YouTube.

I'm sure the show was very entertaining live, but the videos leave me with a "I guess you had to be there" feeling. Just as I felt about videos of our own shows. Not a great way to build interest in the genre.

That being said, I think a modern Grand Guignol company could make good use of video. It will just take a little more imagination than simply taping live performances.

Hope this helps.
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Russell Blackwood
Posted: Tue Mar 20, 2007 3:58 pm Reply with quote
Moderator Joined: 18 Sep 2003 Posts: 125

The contemporary French videos of four GG plays can be ordered through

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