Holy BDSM Hollywood Fringe! ‘Philosophy in the Boudoir’, Shockingly Submissive

by Raquel Sanchez
Staff Writer

HWF

Picture this: a dark black box theatre. An audience awaiting the production’s commencement. Suddenly a flashlight illuminates the face of an actor who subsequently provides a tour into debauchery.  Soon the audience is bombarded with images of masturbation, sodomy, scat play, oral sex, and a multitude of sexual acts introducing us to the journey on which we are about to embark. Or, this is a really bad Nine Inch nails music video

Based on the Marquis de Sade’s Sade Trilogy (Philosophy in the Boudoir, Justine and 120 Days in Sodom), Os Satyros and Combined Art Form’s Hollywood Fringe production of Philosophy in the Boudoir is about two libertines, Juliette and Dolmance, who, at the request of the young Eugenie’s father, introduce her to the world and philosophy of libertinage.

Eugenie is fresh out of the convent school selected by her religious mother Mme. De Mistival. Her father has arranged for her to learn about sex from Juliette de Saint-Ange to have her mother’s moral influence removed. Initially, she is eager to do so, but has reservations once Juliette introduces her guest Dolmance as her other tutor. She quickly falls prey to their tutelage in all aspects of sexual play while they impart on her the philosophies of libertine behavior, making her see the hypocrisy in morality and religion until she takes part in the crime of matricide.

Familiar or not with the Marquis de Sade’s work, you will find this play disjointed. Director Rodolfo Garcia Marquez attempted to pay homage to the Sade’s controversial writings and philosophies on religion, politics and morality, but got lost in the imagery presented on stage and neglected the dialogue.  The focus seemed to be to shock audiences unused to seeing overt sexual acts practiced on stage.

Patricia Aguille and Lino Reis

Patricia Aguille and Lino Reis

The actor’s courage to take on such controversial material was impressive, but the performances were adequate. There was a disconnect with the performers because it was difficult to develop sympathy for any of them. Philosophy in the Boudoir  was missing a sense of satire and wicked enjoyment that would have injected more allure into this libertine world.  Patricia Aguille was enjoyable as Juliette Saint-Ange. She was charming, lustful, unapologetic, and evil. Her take on the dialogue had an amusing, wicked appeal. Her Juliette was a proud libertine and she made no apologies for her behavior.

Philosophy in the Boudoir comes off like a one hour industrial rock video along with a heavy soundtrack and gothic imagery, which, unfortunately failed to engage and shock.

* * *

Philosophy in the Boudoir
Written by Marquis de Sade
Directed by Rodolfo Garcia Marquez

Theatre Asylum
6320 Santa Monica Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90038

Production information available at the Fringe Festival Website.

Advertisements