'This volume is a gem. Written by two experts in modern French theater, whose stated objective is to render the complexity of Genet's work exhilarating rather than intimidating, the book is neatly organized into two equally important parts. The first provides an overview of Genet's life and politics along with a concise reading of the philosophical, historical, and aesthetic implications of six masterworks: The Maids, Deathwatch, Splendid, The Balcony, The Blacks, and The Screens. The second focuses on the remarkable range of styles that Genet's texts inspire and the multiple ways in which directors, designers, and actors have infused life into his plays over the past 60 years. Finburgh (Univ. of Essex, UK) and the much-missed Bradby (a pioneer of performance studies who died in 2011) delve into more than 20 groundbreaking productions, from Louis Jouvet's naturalist staging of The Maids (1947) to Ultz and Excalibah's hip-hop, slam-poetry remix of The Blacks (2007). Together with Edmund White's magnificent Genet: A Biography (CH, Mar'94, 31-3682), this short but comprehensive treatment bears witness to the continued political relevance and artistic power of one of the most controversial and influential authors of the 20th century. Summing Up: Essential.' C.B. Kerr, CHOICE
About the Author
David Bradby was Emeritus Professor of Drama and Theatre Studies at Royal Holloway. He was the UK’s leading specialist in modern French theatre, writing several seminal works on the subject, including Le Théâtre en France (2007) and Modern French Drama (1984, 1991). He was also a prolific translator of French dramatists, including Michel Vinaver and Bernard-Marie Koltès.
Clare Finburgh is Senior Lecturer in Modern Drama at the University of Essex. She has co-edited Genet: Performance and Politics (with Carl Lavery and Maria Shevtsova, 2006) and Contemporary French Theatre and Performance (with Carl Lavery, 2011). She has published many articles on Genet, and a range of contemporary French and Francophone theatre-makers including Valère Novarina, Noëlle Renaude and Kateb Yacine.