Theater review: Marat/Sade

By Todd LaPlace
From the May 10, 2012 edition

The play “The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade” is about as esoteric as its title, which perhaps makes it an odd choice for an OSU Department of Theatre production.

Taking place in 1808, “Marat/Sade” takes on the structure of a play within a play. As the title suggests, de Sade recruits his fellow asylum residents to stage a play about the revolutionary Marat, who was killed a few years earlier during the French Revolution.

Those with an interest in French history during this period may take an interest in the plot, but the story is a bit stale and the play is old-fashioned.

Fortunately, the cast brings a youthful energy that makes the show more enjoyable.

While some underclassmen filling the smaller roles still come across a bit green and overeager, the lead roles are filled with some promising talent, especially Cornelius Hubbard Jr. as the stoic Herald and Zak Houston as de Sade.

As probably the most seasoned performer, Houston is gleefully maniacal as his de Sade rushes about the stage in an attempt to maneuver his actors to speak incendiary lines about the revolution. As things intensify on stage, so did our enjoyment of the show.

Matt Hazard photo