Jerk (play)

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Written by Dennis Cooper
Characters David Brooks, Dean Corll, Elmer Wayne Henley
Date premiered 5 March 2008 (2008-03-05)
Original language French
Genre Puppet play

Jerk is a one-person puppet play by the American writer Dennis Cooper, made in collaboration with director Gisèle Vienne and performer Jonathan Capdevielle, based on Cooper's 1993 novel of the same name.[1] It is based on the story of serial killer Dean Corll and his teenage accomplices David Brooks and Elmer Wayne Henley.[1] The play develops the conceit that Brooks has learnt puppetry in prison and, as part of his rehabilitation, acts out the murders in which he participated via the use of glove puppets and ventriloquism. The performance also involved sections in which the audience read about the murders in pamphlets, entitled "Two Texts for a Puppet Play by David Brooks" that were distributed.

The production premiered on 5 March 2008 in Brest, France.[2] The play was also performed in an English-language version at the South London Gallery as part of the Paris Calling season of performing arts, opening on 1 July 2009.[3] Its performance included music by Peter Rehberg.


  1. ^ a b From the programme Paris Calling: A Franco-British Season of Performing Arts 09; see also Jerk on and the Jerk page on Gisèle Vienne's website.
  2. ^ See the Jerk page on Gisèle Vienne's website.
  3. ^ See the SLG Events webpage.