Imagine yourself in a bleak, timeworn theater. Picture yourself walking down the dull dismal aisle, shadows overtaking the light, thick aged draperies hanging on the peeling cracked walls… keep walking, row after row until you get to your creaking seat. The theater is quiet enough to hear the dead, the lights dim and a chill runs down your spine, the show is about to start… Welcome to the Grand Guignol.
The Grand Guignol is a haven to those of a darker nature. Lovers of the grotesque and wicked. It was once a theater in Paris that specialized in the macabre, but now is a term meant for all horrifying theater productions. A usual night at the Grand Guignol involves five to six short plays – plays ranging from crime thrillers to filthy sex scenes. But their main focus was the gory, bloody, murderous, torture filled dealings. Stabbings, beatings, eye gouging, throat slashing, beheading… it has it all.
Does this dreadful and eerie theater remind you of anything? If you are an Anne Rice fan it most definitely should. No? Let us trigger your memory some more then; it’s Paris but you aren’t on a romantic sight seeing trip, no, you are in the underbelly of the city, in a theater where a perverse act is performed on the stage. A young woman is led out, where she is taunted by Death in all his pallor. She is mercilessly tortured and eventually killed by a coven of vampires, right in front of a crowd of unsuspecting guests. “Death in love.” Remember now, the Théâtre des Vampires from Anne Rice’s famous novel Interview with the Vampire. Mrs. Rice got inspiration for this brilliant and morbid idea of a vampire theater from the French Grand Guignol. This famous theater birthed fantastic scenes in a fantastic book.
…and now you know. If you read the book again and get to those dreadful parts, you’ll think of the Grand Guignol and know that in real life, shows similar to those were performed for real horror hungry people.