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2003-04-08

Pablo Diego Jose Francisco de Paula Nepomuceno Paria de los Remedios de la Santisima Trinidad Ruiz Picasso
B. 10.25.1881 Málaga, Spain / D. 4.8.1973 Mougins, France
Heart Failure

A Picasso play also attracted attention, not to say notoriety. It was “Desire Caught by the Tail,” which he had written in three days on a sickbed in 1941. It was produced privately in Paris three years later with a cast that included the playwright, Simone de Beauvoir, Valentine Hugo, Albert Camus, Raymond Queneau and Jean-Paul Sartre. The main prop was a big black box that served as a bed, bathtub and coffin for the two principal characters, Fat Anxiety and Thin Anxiety. The play’s action was earthy.

When “Desire” was commercially staged in St. Tropez in 1967, it aroused protests even in that resort town’s atmosphere of tolerance. The objection was that some of the characters were expected to urinate on stage. Although this did not take place, the play was thought overly suggestive.

Picasso wrote a second play, "The Four Girls," in 1965, but it was not produced.



From The New York Times Obituary (4.9.73)

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