Book jacket/back: The setting of Jean Genet's celebrated play is a brothel that caters to refined sensibilities and peculiar tastes. Here men from all walks of life don the garb of their fantasies and act them out: a man from the gas company wears the robe and mitre of a bishop; another customer becomes a flagellant judge, and still another a victorious general, while a bank clerk defiles the Virgin mary. These costumed diversions take place while outside a revolution rages which has isolated the brothel from the rest of the rebel-controlled city. In a stunning series of macabre, climactic scenes, Genet presents his caustic view of man and society.
Play by Jean Genet, produced and published in 1956 as Le Balcon. Influenced by the Theater of Cruelty, The Balcony contains nine scenes, eight of which are set inside the Grand Balcony bordello. The brothel is a repository of illusion in a contemporary European city aflame with revolution. After the city's royal palace and rulers are destroyed, the bordello's costumed patrons impersonate the leaders of the city. As the masqueraders warm to their roles, they convince even the revolutionaries that the illusion created in...