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The Apollo of Bellac

The Apollo of Bellac
Your Price: $14.95 CDN
Author: Jean Giraudoux
Translated by: Maurice Valency
Publisher: Samuel French (cover may change)
# of Pages: 37
Pub. Date: 1982
Edition: Acting
ISBN-10: 0573620172
ISBN-13: 9780573620171
Cast Size: 3 female, 9 male

About the Play:

The Apollo of Bellac (English-language version of L'Apollon de Bellac) is a one-act comedy by Jean Giraudoux, adapted by Maurice Valency. In one of his most loved one-act plays, the French dramatist puts his unique spin on our notions of beauty when a young girl discovers the ultimate secret to win men's hearts. Especially recommended for school and contest use.

The Apollo of Bellac explores how to get a man to do anything! A shy young woman is unemployed and terrified of men, until a mysterious stranger offers her "the secret" to get whatever she wants from any man, be it a job, a dance or a diamond, just by uttering four simple words. Set in Paris, in a fanciful "office of inventions," Jean Giraudoux's play is a witty meditation on beauty, power and male vanity. It paints a wry portrait of a corporate world that can be transformed with the right words and a smidgen of charm.

L'Apollon de Bellac was written in 1943 and first performed in 1947 in Paris at the Théâtre de l'Athénée. The English adaptation by Maurice Valency aired in 1954 on the CBS-TV program "Omnibus" and was produced in 1957 off Broadway at the Carnegie Hall Playhouse as The Apollo of Bellac. It remains a popular choice for community theatre productions and is an ideal choice for high school drama contests and one-act festivals.

Cast: 3 female, 9 male

What people say:

"The Apollo of Bellac is a little gem of ironic humor about an artless girl who learns the practical advantages of flattery." — The New York Times

About the Playwright:

Jean Giraudoux (1882-1944) was a French playwright, novelist, and diplomat whose witty, originally expressed works in an impressionistic style helped free French theatre from the restrictions of realism. He wrote fifteen internationally acclaimed plays, most initially staged by the actor-director Louis Jouvet.

Maurice Valency (1903-1996) was an American playwright, author, critic and professor of drama, an erudite man of the theatre best-known for his successful Broadway adaptations of award-winning plays by Jean Giraudoux and Friedrich Duerrenmatt. He taught at Brooklyn College, Columbia University as a professor of dramatic literature and the Juilliard School, where he served as director of academic studies. He was also a member of the New York bar and spoke seven languages.