Play Scripts

AuthorTATLOW, John - Other Plays by this Author - Contact Author
SynopsisThe story opens in Picasso's Parisian studio, 1937. In Picasso's nightmares, he's entrapped inside the canvas which stands over his bed. Unable to visualise what he wants on it, he preoccupies himself with lovers Dora and Marie-Thérèse, violently spurning his wife, Olga. Wishing on a blue rose, Olga calls forth the Minotaur to heap revenge on her husband: to lure him and his muses through the canvas and hold them in torment, forever in Hades. Seeking ideas, Picasso and his Memento Mori conscience follow the Minotaur to Tartarus. Olga tells Picasso it's hubris that condemns him. Memento Mori is butchered by Torturadors. Picasso discovers Memento Mori's camera cable, which connects to his studio. He follows it to the back of his canvas where the Minotaur cuts it, sealing his fate. Picasso realises this is his second visit to Hades. He met the Minotaur at birth. The Minotaur offers Picasso freedom if he creates a magical painting. The Minotaur, disguised as Picasso, entices the muses into Tartarus. Olga slights the Atormentas. Pierrot and the Atormentas reverse Olga's spell. Pierrot shows Picasso how to make powers of thought reality. Picasso creates the Torero and learns to project controlled mental images onto canvas. The Torero kills a Torturador, introducing death to Hades. The Torero, following Picasso's behest, slays the Minotaur and rescues the muses. Picasso, believing this will achieve release, is frustrated: he remains imprisoned. The Torero becomes his own man. Two lovers purposely die on his sword, to be together, beyond Hell. Picasso realises the Torero is key. He resurrects the Minotaur. The Minotaur and Torero do battle. The Torero dies. The Minotaur gains the Torero's sword of Death. Picasso gains the corpse on his fabric; Pierrot thinks the blue rose onto canvas. 'Guernica' is complete. Picasso, Olga and muses are freed.
InformationAdult ThemesSwearingNudityComedyTragedyHistoricalHorror/GhostThrillerBased on real people/eventsFarceSurreal
Cast7 actors + 8 dancers (minimum 15)
18 Total: Actors: Picasso (M 54), Pierrot (F/M 70s), Minotaur (M 30s), Marie-Thérèse (F 24), Dora (F 29), Olga (F 45), Memento Mori act 1 - Torero act 2 (M 30s doubles up). Dancers: Atormenta (F 20s), Atormenta (F 20s), Atormenta (F 20s), Atormenta (F 20s), Torturador beast (M 20s), Torturador beast (M 20s), Torturador beast (M 20S), Torturador beast (M 20s). Actors or dancers double up as Easels 1 & 2 (F/M)
ProductionPicasso's studio. An enormous blank canvas (doubling as a video screen) sits on large podium, beneath a mezzanine - Up Stage Centre. A sign “Je ne suis pas un gentleman” affixed to the mezzanine, changes words with each scene. A spiral staircase links the stages. Canvas is lifted onto mezzanine at the start of act 2. Need to choreograph video sequences to players actions, esp in Act 2; scs 4& 5.
StatusAvailable for performance
Available on ScriptCircle: (for other licences please contact the Author)
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John Tatlow

Playwriting took on a change for the participatory when I undertook an MA in Theatre for Development at the University of Winchester in 2000. Here I was introduced to Brecht and Baol; 7:84 and street theatre. My Picasso I put on hold, as I explored the potential of incorporating a new, all together exciting aspect to my work, namely making it more participatory. I experimented with three 'Children's plays': 'Hip, Hip Hoopoe' (2002); 'Forest Heart' (2003); 'Land of Blue Sky' (2004). (Each under 60mins.) After this period of experimentation with participatory theatre, I returned to finish my 'Picasso,' (2012) bringing a fresher dimension to my canvas. There's an opportunity to make this epic audience participatory in parts, through use of video installation and commedia dell' arte scenes, to name two instances.

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