While commonly associated with hedonism and excess, the word ‘decadence’ has a much richer set of connotations, including a taste for decay, delight in uncommon sexual and cultural practices, and the upturning of moral hierarchies.

For this event, we’ve selected some of the most innovative scenes from Remy de Gourmont’s Lilith (1892), in a new translation by Dan Rebellato; the first act of Jean Lorrain’s Ennoïa (1905), translated into English for the first time by Jennifer Higgins; Djuna Barnes’s brilliant one-act play The Dove (1923); and a little-known text that was well ahead of its time by Izumi Kyōka called Kerria Japonica (1923). The curators and translators will also be offering short introductions to each of the performed texts.

Expect an unusual and expansive evening filled with femme fatales, sadomasochistic pleasures, queer desires, and the fall of humankind.

Curated by Dr Adam Alston and Professor Jane Desmarais

Directed by Jonathan Meth

Performers : Lauren John Joseph, Georgia Sansom, Sadao Ueda, Yuriri Naka, Eric Stroud and Adam Alston

Generously supported by Arts Council England.


Image credit: Fair Lilith, by Matthew DeHaven. Courtesy of the artist.