Grand Guignolers de Paris


Our review from Paris 1925 (before our Los Angeles tour)

Click Here: From The LAist - June 5, 2007: with pictures!!!

A faithful rendition of the French theatrical tradition of Grand Guignol, in which horror and comedy are employed to terrorize audiences, the Grand Guignolers de Paris present an entertaining, exotic evening of blood curdling thrills and chills in their new show. Evoking a 1920s bohemian flair in its use of American and hot French jazz to set the mood, the show employs sophisticated, elegant Pierrot costumes for its ushers and assistants. The most delightful segments of the evening contain les petit guignolers, stylish miniature puppets who bring a touch of whimsy in their comedic parody of horror, highlighted by outstanding voice work, timing, and sight gags. One of the most touching aspects of the evening is emcee Debbie McMahon, exhibiting vulnerability and charm as Betty Boop meets Edith Piaf. Not for the squeamish or faint of heart, the Grand Guignolers de Paris present a titillating thrill ride through the decadent, disturbing world of madness known as Grand Guignol. --- The Tolucan 5/30/07

In its day (1897–1962) the Grand Guignol de Paris was a precursor of modern horror films, claiming to present terrors so intense that spectators vomited or fainted, with a house doctor present to tend the stricken. Director/producers Debbie McMahon and Amanda Haney are attempting to revive the blood-spattered Guignol tradition. The show begins with an absinthe demonstration, conducted in French by Tina Van Berckelaer, followed by a couple of mildly gory puppet plays by les petits guignolers, and two authentic one-acts from the heyday of Guignol. .... Nowadays the over-the-top mayhem seems more funny than frightening, but the production offers an intriguing glimpse of a vanished legendary theater. -- LA Weekly 5/31/07