Kiss of the Spider Woman
a play by Manuel Puig
(Past Show – 26th – 30th September 2023)
Kiss of the Spider Woman
a play by Manuel Puig, English translation by Allan Baker
Kiss of the Spider Woman (El beso de la mujer araña) is a powerful and moving tale of the resilience of the human spirit over brutality and oppression, and its capacity for love.
Two very different men are thrown together in a bleak South American prison cell: flamboyant homosexual Molina, and Marxist revolutionary Valentin. In the still darkness of their cell, Molina re-weaves the glittering and fragile stories of the film he loves, and the cynical Valentin listens. Valentin believes in the just cause that makes all suffering bearable; Molina believes in the magic of fantasy that makes everything endurable.
Though they seem to share little other than a cell, the two form a bond so intimate – and a relationship so profoundly affecting – that each of them are lead into uncharted territory.
Argentine writer Manuel Puig wrote the original novel in 1976, when his country was ruled by a brutal military junta, and thousands of civilians were simply ‘disappeared’. It was promptly banned. He adapted the novel into a stage play in 1983, and in 1985 it was made into a groundbreaking Academy Award-winning film starring William Hurt as Molina and Raul Julia as Valentin – the first independent ever to receive the top four Oscar nominations – Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Actor (which Hurt won).
Both play and film have achieved cult status.
‘Dazzling… a triumph‘: Observer
‘An extraordinarily moving film about manhood, heroism and love’: New York Times
‘A visionary work that breathed life into certain dimensions of human possibility long before society at large was prepared to imagine them’: Los Angeles Review of Books
Dean Wales and Ben Maytham, who acted so powerfully together in Bully Boy in the Studio’s opening season, reunited as Molina and Valentin. They were supported by Richard Spencer.
The estate of Manuel Puig kindly gave us permission to stage this iconic work, whose story is more relevant today than ever.
This was a rare chance to see this modern classic in its original play form.
Helen Clarke– Director
Tickets:- first night £11 all seats, other performances £12.50 – £15.50 (a small booking fee applies)
Groups 10+ & other ticket enquiries here.
26th to 30th September 2023
The Gallery Studio Theatre,
St George’s Street