Production History “The Intruder”

By Annie Stewart


The premiere of The Intruder at the Paris Théâtre d’Art on May 20th 1891

The Intruder along with other plays were performed that evening in honor of French poet Paul Verlaine and painter Paul Gauguin, both of whom were important figures of the Symbolist movement (Bithell 48)

Paul Fort, a French poet and founder of the Théâtre d’Art in built the theatre in 1890 in reaction against the Naturalistic Theatre.

Paul Gauguin
Paul Gauguin
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Paul Verlaine
Paul Verlaine
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Screen Shot 2014-04-13 at 10.33.31 PM
Paul Sérusier, L’Intruse, in Théâtre d’Art (journal), ca. March 1891
Screen Shot 2014-04-13 at 10.33.51 PM
Maurice Denis, L’Intruse, in La Plume, 1 September 1891

Production at the Haymarket Theatre in London on January 27th 1892

Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree, a great actor and manager took over as manager for the Haymarket Theatre in 1887 and staged many new plays, including The Intruder (“Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree”).

Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree as Macbeth in 1911
Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree as Macbeth in 1911
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Production at Moscow Art Theatre in 1904

Directed by Stanislavsky who was inspired by Chekhov’s interest in Maeterlinck’s work and by his own dissatisfaction with naturalistic theatre. He decided to stage three plays by Maeterlinck at the opening of the seventh season on October 2nd, 1904. The designer for all three shows was V. Suren’yants (Bithell 160). To convey the presence of death Stanislavsky draped tulle around the ceiling that would move when death entered the room and he gradually immersed the audience in complete darkness before the start of the play to get them accustomed to the “Maeterlinckian tone” (Stanislavsky/Meyerhold Productions of Maeterlinck in Dramatic Criticism).

Vardges Suren'yants
Designer Vardges Suren’yants
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Production of an adaptation of The Intruder, De Indringer, by Toneelhuis in March 2010

This adaptation was directed and designed by Peter Missotten. The goal of the adaptation was to draw from Maeterlinck’s original one-act and add in “ingredients from horror films” (“De Indringer (The Intruder)”). It focuses on our fear and our fascination with them.   

De Indringer
Photo By Koen Broos
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De indringer
Photo By Koen Broos
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Production of The Blind/The Intruder by Tarquin Productions at Old Red Lion in March 2013

Production was directed by Benji Sperringat, set design by Jacob Hughes and lightening design by Nic Farman

This production was not well received by London audiences and as theatre critic Michael Billington stated in his review “This revival is a fascinating collector’s item, (but) it also demonstrates that Maeterlinck suffered the fate of many artistic revolutionaries – seeing his ideas absorbed into the mainstream” (Billington).

The Intruder
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[caption id="attachment_984" align="alignnone" width="300"]Play-B_2625a_900 The Intruder
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The Blind
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Works Cited

Billington, Michael. “The Blind/The Intruder.” Rev. of The Blind/The Intruder. (n.d.): n. pag. The Guardian.
Guardian News and Media, 09 Apr. 2013. Web. 14 Apr. 2014 <>.
Bithell, Jethro. Life and Writings of Maurice Maeterlinck. London: Walter Scott Pub., 1913. Print.
“De Indringer (The Intruder).” Toneelhuis. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Apr. 2014. <!/en/readmodus/production/?id=3200>.
Denis, Maurice. L’Intruse. 1891. Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, New Jersey. L’Art Inconscient: Imaging the
Unconscious in Symbolist Art for the Théâtre D’art. PKP Journal. Web. 14 Mar. 2014. <>.
Farman, Nic. N.d. Nic Farman. The Blind and The Intruder – Nic Farman Lighting Design. Web. 14 Apr. 2014. <>.
Macbeth: Tree. 1911. Mary Evans Picture Library. Encyclopædia Britannica. Web. 14 Mar. 2014. <>.
Paul Gauguin: Self-Portrait. N.d. Tate Modern. The Telegraph. Web. 14 Mar. 2014. <>.
Picture of Paul Verlaine. N.d. Web. 14 Mar. 2014. <>.
“Reviews Of Productions.” London Theatre Record 15.24 (n.d.): 1625. International Bibliography of Theatre & Dance with Full Text. Web. 14 Apr. 2014
Sérusier, Paul. L’Intruse. 1891. Josefowitz Collection. L’Art Inconscient: Imaging the Unconscious in Symbolist Art for the Théâtre D’art. PKP Journal. Web. 14 Mar. 2014. <>.
“Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree”. Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online.
Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2014. Web. 14 Apr. 2014
“Stanislavsky/Meyerhold Productions of Maeterlinck in Dramatic Criticism.” Russian American Dramatic Arts Theatre. Russian American Dramatic Arts Theatre, n.d. Web. 14 Apr. 2014. <>.
Vardges Suren’yants. N.d. TERT AM. Web. 14 Mar. 2014. <>.