Prof Richard Hand publishes co-authored book on the theatre of horror

April 18, 2016

Performing Grand-Guignol: Playing the Theatre of Horror (The University of Exeter Press, 2016)

By Richard J. Hand and Michael Wilson

From the authors of the successful Grand-Guignol and London’s Grand Guignol – also published by UEP – this book includes translations of a further eleven plays, adding significantly to the repertoire of Grand-Guignol plays available in the English language. The emphasis in the translation and adaptation of these plays is once again to foreground the performability of the scripts within a modern context – making Performing Grand-Guignol an ideal acting guide.

Hand and Wilson have acquired extremely rare acting copies of plays which have never been published and scripts that were published in the early years of the twentieth century but have not been published since – even in French. Includes plays written by, or adapted from, such notable writers as Octave Mirbeau, Gaston Leroux and St John Ervine as well as examples by Grand-Guignol stalwarts René Berton and André de Lorde. Also included is the 1920s London translation of Blind Man’s Buff written by Charles Hellem and Pol d’Estoc and banned by the Lord Chamberlain.

A brief history of the Parisian theatre is also included, for the benefit of readers who have not read the previous books. For further details about the book, please see The University of Exeter Press.


Richard J. Hand is Professor of Theatre and Media Drama at the Faculty of Creative Industries, University of South Wales. He is the co-editor of the Journal of Adaptation in Film and Performance, a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Richard has written extensively on adaptation, horror studies, European theatre, radio drama, and popular culture. He has also worked as a writer, director and performer for theatre and radio. His practice-based research activities include experimental live re-creations of The Train of Terror! (2005), The Terrifying Tale of Sweeney Todd! (2008), Noel Coward’s The Better Half (2008), and Kandinsky’s The Yellow Sound (2011).

Michael Wilson is Professor of Drama at Loughborough University. He was previously Professor of Drama and Dean of the School of Media and Performance at University College Falmouth and prior to that was Head of Research at the Cardiff School of Creative and Cultural Industries at the University of Glamorgan and Co-Director (with Hamish Fyfe) of the George Ewart Evans Centre for Storytelling.

His main research interests lie in the field of popular and vernacular performance and he has published extensively on Storytelling, Grand-Guignol and Brecht and his collaborators. In particular, his work on storytelling has led him to work on the interface between storytelling and digital technology and the way in which the internet has enabled the telling and sharing of ‘extraordinary’ stories of the everyday experiences of people.

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