The Madwoman of Chaillot by Jean Giraudoux
A beautifully comedic play of stark contrasts in human character, The Madwoman of Chaillot divides the world sharply between the artists and the men of business. The businessmen, whom are called by their profession rather than by name, are interested only in finding new ways to become wealthier. They do not tolerate anyone but their own kind. On the other hand, the poets, musicians, vagabonds, and artists only want to create and to love and enjoy one another. The bohemians are a vanishing lot; the businessmen are taking over and corrupting everything that is pure and full of life.
The Prospector, the Broker, and the President have discovered oil beneath the streets of Paris and seek to destroy whatever they must in order to get it. It falls to the Madwoman of Chaillot, an eccentric countess whom acts as the core of creative thought, and the everyday people of Paris to stop the darkness from taking control of their world.
There is no guessing needed to find out which side Giraudoux has taken in this battle of his, yet this dark statement about the world to come has a clearly loving touch and is funny at the same time. Each supporting character has some special purpose within the confines of the play, whether sending a spin of poetic understanding through the audience or bringing about the play’s glimpse of restored order.
Scenes/Monologues: Scenes for men and women of all ages. Monologues for men and women that are middle-aged or older.
Recommended by: Nathan