Shock! Horror! Jonathan Broadbent braves Carl Grose’s darkly comic Grand Guignol

Grand Guignol (2009 cast). Photo by Manuel Harlan
Grand Guignol (2009 cast). Photo by Manuel Harlan

Jonathan Broadbent will star in Theatre Royal Plymouth’s revival of Carl Groses Grand Guignol which returns to The Drum next month before heading to Southwark Playhouse.

He will play De Lorde alongside Paul Chequer (Ratineau), Matthew Pearson (Binet), Robert Portal (Paulais), Emily Raymond (Maxa) and Andy Williams (Maurey).

Set in 1903, in the back streets of Monmartre, the Theatre du Grand Guignol opens its doors to an unsuspecting public.

The plays performed, rife with madness and murders, are sold out every night.

A psychiatrist obsessed with the playwright’s gruesome dramas ingratiates his way into the company.

But when he starts to unpick the author’s mind, the boundaries between theatre and truth begin to blur…

Carl Grose’s wild play works fast and loose with convention. Grand Guignol was a theatre movement of thrill, shock and horror and the play centres on the original Parisian theatre company and its members.

Grand Guignol is strange, funny, gothic and philosophical – a black comedy, a psychological thriller and an unrepentant splatter-fest guaranteed to keep you guessing (and wincing) to the very last horror show.

Jonathan recently appeared as Guy in the critically acclaimed revival of My Night with Reg at the Donmar Warehouse.

Previous theatre credits include A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Lyric Hammersmith), Hamlet (Rose Theatre), Ghost Stories (Duke Of York’s Theatre), Chekhov in Hell (Soho Theatre, The Drum Theatre Plymouth) and Three Sisters (Lyric Hammersmith).

Jonathan has also appeared on screen in feature films As You Like It and The Magic Flute.

Paul Chequer is an accomplished stage actor whose theatre credits include Private Peaceful (National Theatre), War Horse (National Theatre) and A Midsummers Night’s Dream (RSC). He has also appeared on TV in dramas such as Sherlock, Whitechapel and Silent Witness.

Matthew Pearson has performed on stage in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Propeller), Chariots of Fire (Hampstead Theatre and West End), The 39 Steps (Criterion Theatre) and The Reduced Shakespeare Company’s The Complete Works of William Shakespeare.

Robert Portal is known for his screen roles in critically acclaimed films such as The King’s Speech, The Iron Lady and My Week with Marilyn.

Emily Raymond has performed on stage in Dangerous Corner (Chichester Festival Theatre and West End) and has regularly appeared with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Andy Williams last appeared on stage in The 39 Steps (Criterion Theatre). His other theatre credits include War Horse (New London Theatre) and A Matter of Life and Death (National Theatre).

His television credits include Wire in the Blood, Brookside and Waking the Dead.

Grand Guignol, written by Carl Grose and directed by Simon Stokes, plays The Drum, Theatre Royal Plymouth, October 9-18 with a guidance of suitable for over 14s only.

It moves to the Southwark Playhouse, October 23-November 22.

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