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Splendid’s, a two-act police thriller written in 1948, was never staged in Jean Genet’s lifetime. In 1952 he announced that he had destroyed the manuscript, and the play was assumed lost. Only in 1993 did a surviving copy reappear.
Exhausted, unshaven and wearing evening dress, Genet’s gangsters never let go of their machine-guns – not even when they dance together. Their conversations contain some of Genet’s finest dialogue; an insane mixture of melodramatic speech-making and low-camp bickering, all wrapped up in a sexy pastiche of forties American film noir, lurching stylishly from tough realism into wicked black humour.
Translated by writer, performer and director Neil Bartlett, this volume also contains an introduction by Genet’s biographer, Edmund White.
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