France, 1633-1634 – The city of Loudon, unlike most of the country, is at peace. While religious wars swept the country and kept the Protestants and the Catholics at each others’ throats, the sects live and have lived together without incident in the city for years, primarily due to the charismatic priest Father Urbain Grandier, who acts as a kind of second Governor of the town, loved and respected (despite his frequent and well-known personal transgressions, mostly involving the women of Loudon), but also due to its secure battlements, which keep the city separate and self-sustaining (and whose security has been guaranteed by King Louis the XIII).
Cardinal Richelieu, in Paris, seeking to unify the State and the Catholic Church and have complete control of the country under both, despises Loudon’s independence, but with the popular and connected Grandier, and the King’s promise, he cannot take the city’s walls down and gain control. Until a convent of Ursuline nuns in Loudon suddenly begins exhibiting signs of demonic possession and claiming Grandier as an agent of Hell – a story which no one believes, but has power anyway – and a narrative is set in motion which can only end in madness, violence, hysteria, torture, exorcisms, chaos, destruction, and an execution.
And this is all a true story.
This production of John Whiting’s classic 1960 play, The Devils, remains faithful to Whiting’s text and vision while combining elements of both his source text, Aldous Huxley’s 1952 book The Devils of Loudon, and also Ken Russell’s intense, brilliant, and still deeply controversial 1971 film of the play to create a wider image of the societal and personal forces that combine to use religion as a political club and irrational thought to destroy reason as a man and city are eliminated through a lie that no one believes, but all must obey. 23 actors in a small space create a seething, fast-moving portrait of all aspects and classes of a society that come together to create a horrible event, combining the intensity and stomach-churning aspects of the Russell film with a breadth and scope more often found in the work of Robert Altman. A mix of the darkly comic and deeply horrific, Devils is a stew of the beautiful and human mixed with the repulsive and inhumane.
About the Company: The Brick Theater
The Brick Theater, Inc. is a not-for-profit theater company dedicated to nurturing the work of emerging artists at its performance space in Williamsburg, Brooklyn - The Brick. The Brick presents world premieres, monthly performance series and seasonal festivals, expanding Williamsburg's profile as a destination for cutting-edge art and entertainment. The Brick continues to seek new artists and projects, to provide them with a creative home and to serve as Williamsburg's primary incubator of innovative theater arts.
August 14, 19, 21, 26, 27, and 28 at 8.00 pm; August 15 and 29 at 2.00 pm
Theater: Brick Theater
Address: 575 Metropolitan Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Buy Tickets Online or Call: Ovationtix at 212-352-3101