Eugène Ionesco’s one-act prose farce, described by him as an “anti-pièce” [antiplay] (Ionesco, 1991, 7), was the first and defining example of the Theatre of the Absurd when it was performed at the Théâtre des Noctambules in Paris in 1950. (Samuel Beckett’s En Attendant Godot [Waiting for Godot] had been written in 1947-8 but was not performed until 1953.) The first performances of La Cantatrice chauve, directed by Nicolas Bataille (1926-2008), were badly publicized and unsuccessful, but some significant literary figures, including Jacques Audiberti, Albert Camus and Armand Salacrou, defended the originality and spontaneous creativity of the work, and a reprise of …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are not a subscriber, please click here to read about membership. All our articles have been written recently by experts in their field, more than 95% of them university professors.

Forman, Edward. "La Cantatrice chauve". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 16 October 2011
[, accessed 04 March 2015.]