Asylum inmates star in play within a play

Mncedisi Shabangu as the Marquis de Sade in Marat/Sade.

Designer and director Jaco Bouwer tackles one of the Baxter Theatre Centre’s flagship productions for 2017, Peter Weiss’s contemporary classic Marat/Sade.

Written by German playwright Weiss in 1963, the full title of the play is The Persecution and Assassination of Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade, which has been shortened to, and is widely known as, Marat/Sade.

It will be staged at the Baxter Flipside from tomorrow, Thursday February 23 to Saturday March 25, at 7.30pm nightly.

The ensemble of 16 actors is led by Mncedisi Shabangu as the Marquis de Sade, Charlton George as Jean-Paul Marat and Tinarie van Wyk Loots as Charlotte Corday.

The story unfolds like a “play within a play” and is set in an asylum in 1808. The Marquis de Sade decides to stage a play about the murder of Jean-Paul Marat by Charlotte Corday and uses his fellow inmates as the actors.

The performance is supervised by the director of the hospital, Monsieur Coulmier who unashamedly supports Napoleon’s government and firmly believes that the play will support his own bourgeois ideas and denounce those of the French Revolution that Marat helped to lead.

However, the patients continue to speak their own words, which clash with those which Coulmier wishes to promote.

The Marquis continues to manipulate the situation in his favour, resulting into an orgy of chaos and destruction.

Original music for the production is composed by Pierre-Henri Wicomb, costume design by Birrie le Roux, lighting design by Patrick Curtis and choreography by Grant van Ster.

There is an age restriction of 16.

Ticket prices range from R130 for previews from Thursday February 23 to Monday February 27; R140 for shows Mondays to Thursdays; and R160 from Fridays and Saturdays.

There are discounts available for block-bookings of 10 or more at R120 and students with a valid ID and seniors pay R110.

For discounted corporate, schools or block-bookings, charities or fundraisers, contact Sharon on 021 680 3962, email or Carmen on 021 680 3993, email