Philosophy in the Bedroom

Marquis de Sade
MoshPit Theatre
theSpace @ North Bridge

After merely an hour, in what is easily the more lurid and excessively sexualised piece of theatre on show during this year's Fringe, the audience have been subjected to rape, sodomy, bondage, incest, torture and forced syphillis infection. Yet bizarrely it's all still quite a lot of fun.

De Sade's infamous dialogue on the conversion of a virginal merchant's daughter into the very depths of Libertine depravity are acted out with no shame, embarrasment or regard for constraints of petty morality. However, even with the amount of pretty young flesh on display, and having cut out some of the longer politicising tracts from the dialogue, the whole debacle does drag on a bit.

Kudos must be given to the cast of MoshPit for so wantonly throwning themselves into such an affair, and for managing to keep a straight face throughout the production that includes one of the most ridiculous looking false penises ever created. Although I'd stress I'm by no means an expert but the warped flesh-toned melted-candle of plastic sprouting from the groin of Dolmancé was unlikely enough in itself to send the audience into peals of laughter.

Given the sensibilities of the modern audience, it's by no means a surprise that the production chooses to make less jest of the increasingly horrific finale, with the incestuous Madame de Saint-Ange and her brother both becoming more guilt-ridden and disgusted than the original piece would imply. However, despite this, the whole escapade managed to close without leaving an unpleasant taste in the mouth, or anywhere else for that matter.

Reviewer: Graeme Strachan