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The Persecution And Assassination Of The Marat As Performed By The Inmates Of The Asylum Of Charenton Under The Direction Of The Marquis De Sade

by Peter Weiss

Company: Close Theatre Club

Venue: Close Theatre, Glasgow

Performance dates: 2nd to 18th November, 1972

Synopsis: During his confinement in the Lunatic Asylum at Charenton, the Marquis de Sade wrote several plays which were performed by the inmates and directed by de Sade himself. Peter Weiss’s original play used thirty actors, including singers and musicians, to depict one of these events, set in 1808 in the aftermath of the French Revolution. The Marquis is directing a play to educate and rehabilitate the inmates, and presents a musical pageant of the Terror of Paris, culminating in the murder of Jean-Paul Marat at the hands of Charlotte Corday. The Citizens’ Theatre/Close Theatre Club presented their own version, where there are only nine actors and the emphasis is on the characters as patients in a modern day mental hospital rather than historical figures.


Vincent-Patrick Hannaway
Louise-Yvonne Nicholson
Angela-Jill Spurrier
Bill-Murray Salem
Karl-Laurance Rudic
Jack -Jeremy Blake
Safter-Jeffery Kissoon
Doctor-Jonathan Levy

Lewis’s comments:

"The best work I've ever done was...a modern interpretation of The Marat/Sade. I played de Sade (Alan Martin) and it was the most involved thing I've ever done. Same time every night as I reached the breakdown of this madman, mucus actually came out of my nose. I think that's being involved!"

"I’ve never enjoyed myself so much as playing the Marat/Sade. I love heavy classical Rôles, something you may find difficult to believe until you actually see me doing one. I've done a lot of Shakespeare, Chekhov (I like Chekhov), Strindberg, and of course, Marlowe."


(from the programme) "Marat/Sade is the first of four projects which will be presented at the Close in the current season. None of the plays will be presented in the conventional style of past Close productions. Scripts will be used as a basis for public exploration of the relationship between actors and audience. It has often been stated that the Close has been used merely as a smaller version of the Citizens'. These presentations will be an attempt to use the Close in a genuinely experimental and illuminating way."