[via]Corpora, located in the enclave of the Artworks Theatre and Studios in Hollywood, is following in the footsteps of success of its sold-out presentation of A Grand Guignol Children’s Show, Not for Children (co-produced with immaculate Debbie McMahon) , with a theatrical installation of Kharmful Charms of Daniil Kharms by resident company ARTEL (American Russian Theatre Ensemble Laboratory.)

Under the banner of Kook’s Kitchen Series led by Olya Petrakova (a co-artistic director of ARTEL along with Bryan Brown), a mad-gang of artists and scientists  will cook up in a devised-collaborative fashion a  Russian Surrealist Absurdist Comedy at its most iniquitous and irrational, violent and erotic.


Olya Petrakova, director.

Kharmful Charms is structured as an evening of not-so-innocent pranks and antics, vignettes and dreamlike incidencies set to rousing musical soundlife by multiple award-winner Jef Bek.  Utilizing the entire 7, 000 sq.ft building of Artworks Theatre and Studios, this limited 2 day run will explode into action with 12 cast members and a great number of invited local theatre artists.

This production is paying respects to Daniil Kharms’ founded avant-garde collective OBERIU, or Union of Real Art, whose aesthetic centered around a belief in the autonomy of art from real world’s rules and logic, and the intrinsic meaning to be found in objects and words outside of their practical function.


Daniil Kharms (1905-1942) was an early Soviet-era surrealist and absurdist poet, writer and dramatist.

By the late 1920s, his antirational verse, nonlinear theatrical performances, and public displays of decadent and illogical behavior earned Kharms – who always dressed like an English dandy with a calabash pipe – the reputation of being a talented but highly eccentric “fool” or “crazy-man” in Leningrad cultural circles. He was imprisoned in the psychiatric ward at Leningrad Prison No. 1. and died in his cell in February, 1942 — most likely, from starvation, as the Nazi blockade of Leningrad had already begun. His writings (a vast assortment of stories, miniatures, plays, poems, and pseudo-scientific, philosophical investigations) were virtually unknown until 1970’s, and not published officially in Russia until “glasnost”.

2 performances only: Friday, April 10 and Saturday, April 11th at 8PM

Art/Works Theatre,
6569 Santa Monica Blvd,
Hollywood, CA 90038
tel. 323.871.1912


24 hour Ticket Hotline 1.800.838.3006,
Information 323.871.1912
Tickets: $17-30 General Admission



WHO IS GUIGNOL? The beloved Guignol puppet of Lyon, France was born in puppet plays featuring Polichinelle, the French version of the Commedia Dell’Arte’s low-brow character, Pulchinello. The Guignol puppet was added in 1808 by a dentist of Lyon, France who had begun performing the puppet plays to allay the fears of patients. In England, Pulchinello became Punch of the Punch & Judy show, who is also featured in our show.This GRAND GUIGNOL CHILDREN’S SHOW NOT FOR CHILDREN presents classic folk tales in their darkest forms: Little Red Riding Hood: a Horror Play, Hansel and Gretel: a Horror Play, The Ugly Duckling: a Melodrama Ballet, and Rapunzel: an Erotic Thriller by French finger puppets.  We also offer a pre-show absinthe presentation and tasting.  Masks, birthday cake, over the top dance numbers, puppets, and a lot of blood.  And a little boob. The show is not appropriate for children.

WHAT IS GRAND GUIGNOL? The Théâtre du Grand Guignol in Paris (1897-1962) achieved a legendary reputation for explicit violence, blood-curdling terror, so that a resident doctor was needed onsite to treat fainting spectators. A performance at the Grand Guignol strove to terrify and titillate the spectator through a mixture of horror, laughter and the erotic. A typical evening’s entertainment exploited the contemporary audience’s fears, taboos and desires.  The name Grand Guignol is a play on the “big puppet” show, both in size and for ‘big people.’  Known as an “evening of hot and cold showers” the performance alternated farce and horror plays.
BACKGROUND FOLK TALES: The origin of folk tales, such as Little Red Riding Hood and Hansel and Gretel varies greatly, as they were passed down orally. There is no single original version, source nor meaning of these stories, rather they vary by culture and era.  In the late 17th Century, Charles Perrault, French courtier to Louis XIV, first published folk tales, sanitizing the darker bawdier oral versions, making them more palatable for his salon peers and adding his own moral messages. A century later, the Grimm Brothers collected and also published the folk tales for academic purposes, then later, seeing the marketing value, adapted them for children. Contemporary versions are often even less violent and less sexual. But certain essential elements remain the same among centuries and continents, making them a fascinating and powerful expression of the human psyche and an appropriate match for the Grand Guignol.

 Pre-sale tickets are HIGHLY recommended – or for more info go to:

WHERE:  Art/Works Theatre * 6569 Santa Monica Blvd. * Los Angeles, CA 90038.  
DATES: Dec. 5 – Jan. 10. 2009 Fri/Saturdays at 8:30 (except 12/26), with two Thur. (12/18 & 1/8)
and two Pay What You Can Sun. (12/28 & 1/4) at 7pm.* Pre-Show Absinthe Demo about 1/2 hour early *
* grown up drinks & absinthe *  SUGGESTED DRESS: Cocktail, Birthday Party and/or 1920s-30s.  
 TICKETS:  $20-30