- (1815 - 88) French writer of farces solely orpartly responsible for the creation of over 160 plays during a 40-yearwriting career. Labiche's first major success came in 1848 with theone-act A Young Man in a Hurry. His reputation was consolidatedby the success of An Italian Straw Hat (1851) about a youngman's attempts to replace a straw hat eaten by a horse on the dayof his wedding. The play, which has been frequently revived, is best-knownin Britain in the version by W. S. Gilbert. Other successes includedM Perrichon's Trip (1860) and The Piggy Bank (1864).Towards the end of the 1870s interest in farce began to decline andLabiche ceased to write. In 1878 a massive, though by no means comprehensive,volume of Labiche's plays was published resulting in his election(1880) to the French Academy.