THE MAN WHO LAUGHS
by Debbie McMahon, based on the book by Victor Hugo
Set in early 18th Century, the story features the son of a condemned nobleman, Gywnplaine, sold by a king to child-traders who permanently disfigure him by carving a smile into his face (the 1920s film was inspiration for The Joker). The man whose deformed face bears “the stigmata of a laugh” becomes a clown. Virtue vs. vice, the grotesque vs. the sublime and a prophecy of the coming of Revolution are encompassed in this powerful and moving story.
In 2014, we presented a reading at the Mark Taper Auditorium of the Los Angeles Public Library. Since then, we have continued with private readings to continue to improve the script.
This highly theatrical and heavy movement based production will feature an ensemble of 12-15 actors playing forty characters, elaborate special effect make-up by the talented SFX desiger, David Brooke, and visual storytelling that merges highly stylized costumes, extensive puppetry, shadow play and projection. Grammy nominated composer, Tom Peters, is creating an original soundtrack. We intend to create a mobile production that can easily move venues.
See a brief intro video here: