Eugène Ionesco, La Cantatrice chauve [The Bald Prima Donna]

Edward Forman (University of Bristol)
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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 the same production launched at the Théâtre de la Huchette in Paris’s Latin quarter in February 1957, in a…

1768 words

Citation: Forman, Edward. "La Cantatrice chauve". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 16 October 2011 [, accessed 26 May 2024.]

33103 La Cantatrice chauve 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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