The Feydeau Double-Bill :
The Feydeau Double-Bill
The first translations in thirty years of short one-act Feydeau farces. Two classics of French comedy based on the simplest misunderstanding, in a translation by Exchange Theatre.
A House Bath, British Premiere
At night, Madame wants to have a bath, being prepared with much attention by the maid. When Madame changes her mind, the maid decides she might have one when suddenly Monsieur comes back…
Madame’s Late Mother, British Premiere
At 4 O’clock in the morning. A row: she wants to sleep, he comes back from a party. Suddenly the doorbell rings…
“Exchange Theatre has done a service making those plays available in English”
Reviewsgate, July 2010
The Genius of French comedy brought back to the London Stage. Georges Feydeau is an illegitimate son of Napoléon III, very young, he neglected school to make théâtre. Inspired by Maxim’s, Cancan, la belle époque, he wrote some vaudeville masterpiece such as A Flea in Her Ear and Sauce for the Goose mocking the bourgeoisie. Georges Feydeau, made France laugh through his vaudevillian farces and, in the process, dominated the genre. Some have seen in Feydeau a precursor of Dadaism, surrealism, and the absurd.
“Beneath the frenetically joyous surface is a vision of the world in explosion” Feydeau
Somewhat of an existentialist view of an absurd universe where men and women confront a hostile world in which the innocent suffer with no hope of comic resolution. His work had an undercurrent of pessimism, with many of the characters bringing suffering upon themselves by their affectation, their over-ambition, and their romantic and idealistic notions. While Feydeau’s basic premise may be founded in reality, the characters and plot are quickly pushed into the realm of the irrational. He was not an experimenter or an innovator, but an exploiter of the farcical possibilities inherent in the dramatic conventions that he adopted.
His characters are ordinary people who are aggressive and, at times, cruel. While his plays are known for their nonsense, fantasy, and bedroom farce, they are also known for their sense of madness and their geometric precision. His is a popular theatre that may not always appeal to cultured audiences. Lurking beneath the surface is insanity, and a vision of a conflicted world.
With Niall Costigan, Andrew Dowbiggin, Fanny Dulin, David Furlong, Anna Ruben, Emma West.
8th to 14th July 2008, Rosemary Branch Theatre
12th to 19th of July 2009 Tabard Theatre
11 to 18th July 2010, Brockley Jack Theatre