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A Flea in Her Ear (Ives)

A Flea in Her Ear (Ives)
Your Price: $16.95 CDN
Sale Price: $13.56 CDN
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Author: Georges Feydeau
Translated by: David Ives
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 89
Pub. Date: 2006
ISBN-10: 0822221780
ISBN-13: 9780822221784
Cast Size: 5 female, 9 male (doubling)
on sale

About the Play:

A Flea in Her Ear is a full-length comedy by David Ives. A new version of French playwright Georges Feydeau's classic bedroom farce A Flea in Her Ear, which teems with suspicious spouses, hotel liaisons, crossed wires and abundant physical comedy. Set in turn of the last century in Paris, France, David Ives' recent translation is full of naughty fun, and every single element of farce is here in force.

A Flea in Her Ear presents a witty series of misunderstandings, clandestine assignations and misplaced jealousies between husbands, wives and lovers that are played out with precision and breathtaking speed. Set in Paris in 1907, the bawdy bedroom comedy is about a Parisian wife Raymonde who gets "a flea in her ear" that her husband Victor is cheating on her. She has her best friend, Lucienne, pen a note to him luring him into a meeting with a mysterious lady at Paris' most notorious hotel, The Frisky Puss, to see if he will show up. Thinking the letter was intended for his best friend and Raymonde's wannabe paramour Tournel, Victor sends Tournel off to make the rendezvous in his place. Meanwhile, Lucienne's jealous Spanish husband finds the letter, recognizes his wife's handwriting and takes his pistols to the Frisky Puss, hoping to catch her in the act. Victor's nephew Camille tries to warn them about the mix-up, but his inability to pronounce consonants prevents everyone (except the audience) from understanding him. In Act Two, everyone shows up the Frisky Puss where, it turns out, the drunken (but lovable) bellboy Poche is the exact double of the proper Victor. Meeting Poche and thinking she's been caught by her husband, Raymonde keeps trying to escape from the hotel with Tournel, but a revolving bed keeps flinging them from room to room, as more and more of the involved parties pile into the hotel in a climax culminating in the entrance of the jealous, gun-toting Spaniard. In Act Three the vortex spins even faster as they all end up back at the Chandebise home utterly confused about what actually happened and who was who at the Frisky Puss. The drunken bellboy arrives, is mistaken once again for Victor, and all the threads of the multiple mix-ups are sorted out as Victor and Raymonde recognize their mutual confusions and are reunited.

A Flea in Her Ear is the greatest of French farces, perhaps the greatest farce ever written. David Ives' translation of Feydeau's 1907 masterpiece was commissioned by the Chicago Shakespeare Theater and was first performed there in 2006, where it won that city's prestigious Jefferson Award for best adaptation. It's still enormously popular, and has been a staple of community theatres, regional repertory houses, and high schools since then.

Cast: 5 female, 9 male (doubling)

What people say:

"Ives' adaptation maintains the original's dazzling plot while communicating Feydeau's playful use of language to an American audience." — BackStage

"…[a] crisp, delightfully ridiculous translation…." — Time Out Chicago

"…a hilarious evening of classic comedy." — Chicago Critic

About the Playwright:

Georges Feydeau (1862-1921) was a French playwright of the era known as the Belle Époque. He is remembered for his many lively farces. He wrote over sixty plays and was a forerunner of absurdist theatre.

David Ives is an American playwright, screenwriter, and novelist who was born in Chicago and educated at Northwestern University and Yale School of Drama. He is perhaps best known for his evenings of comic one-act comedies, a reputation which resulted in the The New York Times referring to him as the "maestro of the short form". A former Guggenheim Fellow in playwriting, he has also written dramatic plays, narrative stories, and screenplays. He lives in New York City.