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The Devils

The Devils
Your Price: $16.95 CDN
Author: John Whiting
Publisher: Samuel French, Inc.
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 81
Pub. Date: 1961
ISBN-10: 057301101X
ISBN-13: 9780573011016
Cast Size: 6 women, 17 men and extras

About the Play:

The Devils is a melodrama by John Whiting. A hard-living priest is accused by a nun of possessing her with erotic visions, leading the priest to personal revelations as he is tortured and executed in 1600s France. Based on Aldous Huxley's sumptuous documentary-novel The Devils of Loudun, the play was staged with great success by by Sir Peter Hall and the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC).

The Devils is a profound commentary on religious hysteria, political persecution and the corrupt marriage of church and state. In 17th century France, Father Urbain Grandier is a young, educated, charming priest. People are drawn from around the country to the small city of Loudun in France to hear him speak. His reputation leads to him being offered the position of head priest at St Ursula's Convent, which he turns down. The convent's prioress takes umbrage to this, so she avenges herself by claiming possession by devils whom were set upon her by Grandier. The hysteria becomes widespread giving Grandier's enemies the opportunity to make an example of him by putting him to trial for consorting with the Devil.

The Devils was first performed in 1961 by the Royal Shakespeare Company at the Aldwych Theatre in London and then presented on Broadway in 1965. It was famously re-imagined by Ken Russell in the cult movie The Devils starring Oliver Reed and Vanessa Redgrave.

Cast: 6 women, 17 men and extras

What people say:

"A stunning play, one of the finest of our age. A richness of imagination and perception hard to match in our time." — New York Times

"John Whiting's The Devils skillfully transforms Aldous Huxley's The Devils of Loudon, a narrative chocked with explication, into an excellent drama." — The Harvard Crimson

About the Playwright:

John Whiting (1917-1963) was an English dramatist. He wrote a number of plays in the 1950s and was best known for The Devils, adapted from Aldous Huxley's novel for the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC).