The Blacks (play)

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The Blacks
Written by Jean Genet
Date premiered October 28, 1959 (1959-10-28)
Place premiered Théâtre de Lutèce
Original language French

The Blacks: A Clown Show (French: Les Nègres, clownerie) is a play by the French dramatist Jean Genet. Published in 1958, it was first performed in a production directed by Roger Blin at the Théâtre de Lutèce in Paris, which opened on 28 October 1959.


A review of the Theatre Royal Stratford East production (2007) states:

In Genet's oeuvre[edit]

In a prefatory note, Genet specifies the conditions under which he anticipates the play would be performed, revealing his characteristic concern with the politics and ritual of theatricality:

The Blacks was, after The Balcony, the second of Genet's plays to be staged in New York. The production was the longest-running Off-Broadway non-musical of the decade. This 1961 New York production opened on 4 May at the St. Mark's Playhouse and ran for 1,408 performances. It was directed by Gene Frankel, with sets by Kim E. Swados, music by Charles Gross, and costumes and masks by Patricia Zipprodt. The original cast featured James Earl Jones as Deodatus, Roscoe Lee Browne as Archibald, Louis Gossett, Jr., as Edgar, Cicely Tyson as Stephanie, Godfrey Cambridge as Diouf, Maya Angelou as the White Queen and Charles Gordone as the burglar.

Shi Mei Li directed the play in 1983.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Guardian Review
  2. ^ Genet (1958, 4).
  3. ^ Bradby (1998, 417).

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]