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Reduxion Theatre Company launches 'Revolution' season with bloody opening production

The macabre and titillating “Night of the Grand Guignol,” named after a French theater that gained underground fame for its live naturalistic horror shows in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, opens the company's fifth anniversary season this weekend.
by Brandy McDonnell Modified: October 4, 2012 at 4:19 pm •  Published: October 5, 2012

Along with performances at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday every weekend in October, Reduxion is planning a special midnight performance Oct. 27.

“I have a very strong affinity to the Halloween holiday,” said director Timothy Berg, who is also designing a Grand Guignol-themed float for the Oct. 27 Ghouls Gone Wild parade. “Doing Grand Guignol as a Halloween production is offering to an audience who, you know, during the month of October, you want to see a scary movie. You want to be surrounded by monsters. And let's admit it, some of the sexiest clothing that women are allowed to wear is a Halloween costume, and I've never heard anybody complain about it.”

Each “Night of the Grand Guignol” performance will include at least three 20- to 40-minute vignettes, with the yarns covering topics ranging from adultery and mental disorder to love and pain. The Friday night shows will include an extra vignette, Berg said, while the Saturday night shows will feature a burlesque number.

In addition, OKC Improv will add an interactive twist by performing preshow, intermission and post-show sets the first three Saturdays of October.

“They're doing improv based on Grand Guignol, which I think is really in the vein of Grand Guignol,” Woods said. “It took a lot of risks ... and that's one thing that we love that draws us back to doing these classics.”

The risqué and violent stories on Reduxion's “Night of Grand Guignol” slate include “Guillotine,” “The Final Kiss,” “Doing the Deed,” “Kiss of Blood” and Poe's “The System of Dr. Tarr and Mr. Feather.” The creative team has been forced to get innovative when it comes to recreating some of the stories' deadly moments live onstage in an intimate in-the-round theater.

“We want to revisit these conventions in such a way that it makes it fresh again ... but a lot of it is really one step removed from a magic trick, essentially,” Woods said. “To show how this kind of stuff would have been done with its original staging conditions, (we're) trying to use as many of the old-time contraptions, if you will, as possible.”

Let the bloody revolution begin.

by Brandy McDonnell
Entertainment Reporter
Brandy McDonnell, also known by her initials BAM, writes stories and reviews on movies, music, the arts and other aspects of entertainment. She is NewsOK’s top blogger: Her 4-year-old entertainment news blog, BAM’s Blog, has notched more than 1...
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