It holds the world record for the play that has been staged continuously in the same theatre for the longest time. By the s, The Bald Soprano had already been recognized as a modern classic and an important seminal work in the Theatre of the Absurd. With a record number of interpretations, it has become one of the most performed plays in France. The idea for the play came to Ionesco while he was trying to learn English with the Assimil method. Impressed by the contents of the dialogues, often very sober and strange, he decided to write an absurd play named L'anglais sans peine "English without toil". Other possible titles which were considered included Il pleut des chiens et des chats, "It's raining cats and dogs", translated in French literally ;  "L'heure anglaise"  and "Big Ben Follies".
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Next they discuss a family in which everyone is named Bobby Watson. The Smiths seem to forget from moment to moment whether a certain Bobby Watson is alive or dead. The Smith's maid, Mary, arrives and announces that the Martins are waiting outside. Smith hurry upstairs to change clothes. Mary shows the Martins into the living room, yells at them for being late, and then exits. It turns out that the Martins don't remember each other even though they apparently live in the same house, sleep in the same bed, and traveled on the same train together.
Eventually, through an extended process of elimination they decide that they must be a married couple. Of course, Mary blows a hole in their theory. She tells the audience that, in fact, the Martins' reasoning is faulty, and that they aren't who they think they are at all.
The Smiths eventually rejoin their guests. The two couples sit around talking about unremarkable events, like the fact that Mrs. Martin saw a man tying his shoe. They all are amazed at this "fantastic" story. Eventually, the Fire Chief arrives. He's come to see if there is a fire in the house and is very depressed to find out there isn't one. Since he's apparently got nothing better to do, he settles in and shares some weird fables.
Mary, the maid, busts in and tries to share some stories of her own. The Fire Chief suddenly recognizes Mary — she was his first love. The Smiths are very offended that Mary, the lowly maid, would want to share stories.
They push her offstage as she recites a poem dedicated to the Fire Chief. The Fire Chief takes his leave, saying that there's a fire across town that he must see to. After he leaves, the play goes totally haywire. Eventually, the lights go out and we hear them screaming, "It's not that way, it's over here! When the lights come back up, the Martins are in the same positions the Smiths were in at the beginning of the play. The curtain fall as the play begins again with the Martins saying the same lines that the Smiths did in the first scene.
Study Guide. By Eugene Ionesco. The Bald Soprano Summary The play begins with the Smiths sitting around in their living room talking about a lot of nothing. The Bald Soprano.
The Bald Soprano Summary
In , Eugene Ionesco began writing The Bald Soprano , as he later confessed, almost in spite of himself, for by that time he had come to despise the theater that he had much loved in his youth. What did intrigue him was the banality of the expressions used in an English-language phrase book. One of these friends, Monique Saint-Come, showed the work to Nicolas Bataille, the director of a group of avant-garde actors working in Paris. In rehearsal, the company had first tried staging the play as parody but had soon discovered that it worked best if presented as wholly serious drama, in the realistic mode of Ibsen. They had also experimented, trying several different endings, for example.
The Bald Soprano