Kiss Of The Spiderwoman (1989)

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Poster by Poster Designer

adapted from his own novel by Manuel Puig, in a translation by Allan Baker

Directed and Produced by Malcolm Saunders

Performances: Friday 21 to Sunday 23 April 1989, Prompt Corner


Two prisoners, Luis Molina and Valentín Arregui, share a cell in the Villa Devoto Prison, Buenos Aires. It is estimated that the timeframe in which the story takes place is between September 9, 1975 through October 8, 1975.

Molina, an effeminate and openly homosexual window-dresser, is in jail for "corruption of a minor," while Valentín is a political prisoner who is part of a revolutionary group trying to overthrow the government.

The two men, seemingly opposites in every way, form an intimate bond in their cell, and their relationship changes both of them in profound ways. Molina recounts various films he has seen to Valentin in order for them both to forget their situation. Toward the middle of the novel the reader finds out that Molina is actually a spy that is sent to Valentin's jail to befriend him and try to extract information about his organization.

Molina gets provisions from the outside for his cooperation with the officials with the hopes of keeping up appearances that his mother comes to visit him (thus making a reason for him to leave the cell when he reports to the warden). It is through his general acts of kindness to Valentin that the two fall into a romance and become lovers however briefly. For his cooperation Molina is paroled. On the day he leaves, Valentin has him take a message to his revolutionary group outside. Little does he know that he is also being followed by government agents, trying to find the location of the group. Molina dies in a shoot-out between the police and Valentin's group. In the end of the novel we are left in Valentin's stream of consciousness after he has been given an anaesthetic by a doctor following a brutal torture, in which he imagines himself sailing away with his beloved Marta.




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