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Thieves' Carnival

Thieves' Carnival
Your Price: $16.95 CDN
Author: Jean Anouilh
Translated by: Lucienne Hill
Publisher: Samuel French
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 66
Pub. Date: 1980
ISBN-10: 0573616523
ISBN-13: 9780573616525

About the Play:

Thieves' Carnival is a full-length comedy by Jean Anouilh, translated by Lucienne Hill. The play focuses on a master thief and his two young apprentices who get themselves invited to stay at a wealthy family's summer estate. The thieves try to rob the family of their valuables and their nieces through deception and wit.

Thieves' Carnival deals with a bumbling trio of crooks attempting to ply their trade in this excellent lark loaded with humorous whims, romance, and masquerades. The scene is a palatial home where two attractive young girls reside. The home is invaded by three affectionate thieves, on the one hand, and by a country bumpkin on the other. A lovely romance blooms instantly between one of the girls and the youngest thief. Being a very honest fellow, he cannot in good conscience accept her love, and instead turns with vengeance toward his job. But she is swifter in her wiles than he is in his? An example of the frivolous boulevardier school of writing, the play harks back in form and style to the tradition of the commedia dell' arte, of Moliere and of Marivaux.

Thieves' Carnival (Le bal des voleurs) was written in 1932 when Jean Anouilh was only 22 years old. The Lucienne Hill translation of this play premiered in 1951 at Birmingham Repertory Theatre in Birmingham, England. Produced in 1955 at Cherry Lane Theatre in New York, it is the most successful of Jean Anouilh's works in the US, and is regularly performed and studied around the world.

Cast: 5 women, 15 men

What people say:

"Irrepressible humor, rueful wisdom … Immensely entertaining." — Herald Tribune

"A witty masquerade … Gay, ironic … original, impertinent, and civilized." — The New York Times

About the Playwright:

Jean Anouilh (1910-1987) is regarded as one of France's best-known dramatists. After completing his early schooling, Anouilh studied law for a short time at the Sorbonne, and then worked as a copywriter at Publicité Damour. Though his career spanned five decades, he is best known for his 1943 play Antigone, a version of Sophocles' classical drama that was seen as a thinly disguised attack on the Nazis and on the Vichy government. One of France's most prolific writers after World War II, much of Anouilh's work deals with themes of maintaining integrity in a world of moral compromise.

Lucienne Hill (1923-2012) became well-known for her for her translations of French dramatist Jean Anouilh. After a brief career as an actress of stage and screen, she went on to translate over 30 plays.