KM scored us tickets to an afternoon performance of Madame de Sade, a play written by Yukio Mashima about the Marquis de Sade and told from the point of view of five women. The play has gotten bad reviews, but I think a lot of the reviewers, in grumbling about how the play is "all telling no showing," have missed the point, and wildly so. The point of the play seems to me to be exactly about the complexities of women and sex, and the way that the telling and retelling--and hearing and rehearing--of the lurid actions of the Marquis shocks even as it sets these behooped women on the edges of their skirts. So yes, all manner of intensities traffic through words about sex, and the play deals with fluctuating morals even as it elicits them from the audience. This particular audience was naughty and loved the bawdiness.
My favorite scene was when the Madame lashed out at her mother (played by Dame Judi Densch) for judging her own participation in sadomasochism, and my favorite character was the first one to speak onstage--a woman of loose morals who happens to have just come from horse riding and so has a whip that she takes to striking against the skirts of her dress to make her points. She ends up becoming something of a hero at the start of the revolution. I. LOVED. HER.
The wigs and the lavish dresses were characters in and of themselves, really.
Seeing this play made me want to reread Deleuze on de Sade, because I could sense a good deal of consonance between Deleuze and Mashima.