There are certain things a theatergoer can pretty much depend upon when visiting the Hypnodrome, the home of Thrillpeddlers — one of the few companies in the world (if not the only one) dedicated to presenting plays from the Grand Guignol repertoire. These include the use, at some point during the show, of a replica guillotine; a finale involving actors dancing about in the dark in fluorescent skeleton costumes; and lashings of fake blood. Furthermore, most Grand Guignol dramas follow a similar trajectory toward a gory climax. Watch the first five minutes of a play by André de Lorde (Grand Guignol's "Prince of Terror") and you pretty much know what's going to happen in the end. In general, the art world shuns predictability. "Success is dangerous," Pablo Picasso once said. "One begins to copy oneself, and to copy oneself is more dangerous than to copy others. It leads to sterility." Yet for some strange reason, the formulaic seems to be one of the Grand Guignol theater's... More >>>