(Hippolyte) Jean Giraudoux



  • (1882 - 1944) French novelist, playwright, and essayist,whose work combines fantasy with realism; his plots were often drawnfrom biblical and mythological stories. Giraudoux served as a diplomatand wrote several successful novels before trying his hand at drama.His first play, Siegfried, produced in Paris in 1928 when hewas 45, initiated a long collaboration with the actor and directorLouis Jouvet.

    Giraudoux followed this with the highly successful Amphitryon38, a work based on Plautus's Amphitruo (see Amphitryon).An adaptation of this work by S. N. Behrman for the Luntsenjoyed successful runs on Broadway (1937) and in London (1938). LaGuerre de Troie n'aura pas lien, which addressed the causes anddilemmas of the Trojan War, was first performed in Paris in 1935.Christopher Fry's translation Tiger at the Gates,with Michael Redgrave as Hector, had a successful London run in 1955before transferring to New York's Plymouth Theatre, where it won aNew York Drama critics' circle Award.

    Ondine, based on the legend of a water-nymph who fallsin love with a human, had its premiere in Paris in 1939; it was presentedin London by the Théâtre National de Belgique in 1953and revived by the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1961.

    Giraudoux's The Madwoman of Chaillot was performedin Paris in 1945, opening three years later on Broadway with the Britishactress Martita Hunt in the lead. Elisabeth Bergner revived the partin Düsseldorf and returned to it at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre,Guildford, in 1967. Two years later a Broadway musical version, DearWorld, flopped.

    Another play to be given a posthumous first performance wasPour Lucrèce (1953), translated by Christopher Fry asDuel of Angels.