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 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=33103, 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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