October 1 – November 20, 2009
Thursdays and Fridays at 8:00 PM

At the Hypnodrome, 575 10th Street, San Francisco

$25 General Admission
$69 “Shock Box” Seat for 2
Buy Tickets Online

Press/Media Info

Pearls Over ShanghaiThrillpeddlers are proud to announce our signature Halloween show “Shocktoberfest!! 2009: The Torture Garden,” our tenth annual pageant of titillating Grand Guignol terror plays and stimulating sex farces, running Thursdays and Fridays at 8:00pm from October 1 through November 20. The program will be presented in repertory with Thrillpeddlers’ current production “Pearls Over Shanghai,” the Cockettes musical, which will continue to run on Saturdays at 8:00pm and Sundays at 7:00pm through November 22.

“Shocktoberfest!! 2009” will consist of two plays, “The Torture Garden” (1922) by Pierre Chaine and Andre de Lorde, and “The Phantom Limb,” an original play in the Grand Guignol tradition commissioned by the Thrillpeddlers from New York playwright Rob Keefe, from whose fetid mind have sprung many previous Shocktoberfest!! offerings.

“The Torture Garden (Le Jardin des supplices)” is based on the infamous novel by Octave Mirbeau, once described as “the most sickening work of art of the nineteenth century.” Mirbeau’s sensual and disturbing novel follows a young man’s journey to the ends of desire and depravity in a grand Chinese palace garden where torture is enjoyed and practiced as a form of art itself—and of the mysterious woman who leads him there. As adapted by Chaine and de Lorde, the play is an excellent example of Orientalism, a wildly popular artistic movement in Paris in the 1920s, depicting hostile and deprecatory views of the East as interpreted and shaped by the attitudes of 19th century Europeans. Well-known examples of Orientalism from this period are Gilbert and Sullivan’s “The Mikado,” Oscar Wilde’s “Salome” (and the Richard Strauss opera upon which it was based), John Colton’s play “The Shanghai Gesture” (upon whidh “Pearls Over Shanghai” was loosely based), and Coleridge’s poem “Kubla Khan.”

“The Phantom Limb” is set in a New Orleans brothel during the days immediately following the American Civil War, where a rag-tag parade of wounded and mutilated Confederate soldiers have gathered for solace and healing at the hands of a money-hungry madam, who is only too willing to supply the young soldiers with their every need—until a dark and mysterious stranger arrives at her door one sultry afternoon.


2 Responses to Shocktoberfest!! 2009: The Torture Garden

  1. I really hope I can make it out there this year! I’m in Texas so it will prove a bit of a challenge, but I wasn’t able to make it out last year so I’m determined to try and make this work somehow. I love the Thrillpeddlers (more than you’ll ever know)!!! I dream of one day performing with you!

    And I’m so proud of all of you for having such a success with “Pearls Over Shanghai”, and the extended run! I want to be able to catch it as well.

    You are such a lovely bunch, and thank you, Mr. Blackwood, for always being there to help wheel me out to the handicapped accessible bathroom. You”re such a sweetie!

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