Photographer:Shirin | The Madwoman of Chaillot Photographer:Shirin | The Madwoman of Chaillot Photographer:Shirin | The Madwoman of Chaillot Photographer:Shirin | The Madwoman of Chaillot Photographer:Shirin | The Madwoman of Chaillot Photographer:Shirin | The Madwoman of Chaillot Photographer:Shirin | The Madwoman of Chaillot

The Madwoman of Chaillot

A poetic satir, romantic comedy drama by French dramatist Jean Giraudoux, written in 1943 was put on stage of Sri Aurobindo Auditorium, Bharat Nivas, Pavilion of Indian Culture in International Zone by Ellen. Excellent acting is done by Afsaneh, Anandamayi, Charu, Daniel, Dodo, Elke, Emanuele, Francois, Ingo, Jeff, Lyle, Mirco, Paul, Samvit, Simone, Veronique, Yuval with Guests: Asia, Tejas, Kalou under Trinity coaching. Costumes made by Agnes, Jean on lights, and Julia and Swaha for make up.

The play is set in the Cafe de l’Alma in the Chaillot district of Paris. A group of corrupt corporate executives are meeting. They include the Prospector, the President, and the Baron, and they are planning to dig up Paris to get at the oil which they believe lies beneath its streets. Their nefarious plans come to the attention of Countess Aurelia, the benignly eccentric madwoman of the title. She is an aging idealist who sees the world as happy and beautiful. But, advised by her associate, the Ragpicker, who is a bit more worldly than the Countess, she soon comes to realize that the world might well be ruined by these evil menmen who seek only wealth and power. These people have taken over Paris. “They run everything, they corrupt everything,” says the Ragpicker. Already things have gotten so bad that the pigeons do not bother to fly any more. One of the businessmen says in all seriousness, “What would you rather have in your backyard: an almond tree or an oil well?”
Aurelia resolves to fight back and rescue humanity from the scheming and corrupt developers. She enlists the help of her fellow outcasts: the Street Singer, The Ragpicker, The Sewer Man, The Flower Girl, The Sergeant, and various other oddballs and dreamers. These include her fellow madwomen: the acidic Constance, the girlish Gabrielle, and the ethereal Josephine. In a tea party every bit as mad as a scene from Alice in Wonderland, they put the “wreckers of the worlds joy” on trial and in the end condemn them to banishmentor perhaps, death. One by one the greedy businessmen are lured by the smell of oil to a bottomless pit from which they will (presumably) never return. Peace, love, and joy return to the world. Even the earthbound Pigeons are flying again.

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The Madwoman of Chaillot (French title: La Folle de Chaillot) is a play, a poetic satire, by French dramatist Jean Giraudoux, written in 1943 and first performed in 1945, after his death. The play has two acts and follows the convention of the classical unities. The story concerns an eccentric woman who lives in Paris and her struggles against the straitlaced authority figures in her life.

The original production was done with Giraudoux’s frequent collaborator, actor and theater director Louis Jouvet, who played the Ragpicker. The celebrated French actress Marguerite Moreno was the inspiration for the piece. The play has frequently been revived in France, and the title role played by Edwige Feuillre, Madeleine Robinson and Judith Magre.

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