Jean Anouilh - Five Plays Author:Jean Anouilh This is book of 5 plays: Antigone, Eurydice, The Ermine, The Rehearsal, Romeo and Jeannette — This is a Mermaid Dramabook — BACK COVER Jean Anouilh — There are more eminent literary figures than Jean Anouilh in Paris today; there is no one in the theatre more comprehensively representative of contemporary France than he. For in Jean Anouilh there... more » is a constant alternation between moods of brave affirmation and bitter protest; affirmation of life's primal glory, protest at what modern urban ---particularly French--man has made of it.
Anouilh's disillusionment--which some call cynicism--would have little value if it were not the oblique expression of a deep-seated romanticism. If Anouilh frequently berates and blasphemes it is only because he is fundamentally a believer in such classic concepts as purity, honor, loyalty, and devotion to noble ideals. This iconoclast is a traditionalist.
Traditional too in Anouilh is his dramatic form--of which he is one of the few remaining masters in the theatre of our time. Anouilh's theatre style stems directly from Moliere and the Italian comedy of the seventeenth century which shaped Moliere. It is essentially the theatre of the mask, the theatre which is an amalgam of ballet, farce, street fair and improvisation--all made to serve the purpose of revealing human truth in the gravest sense.
Anouilh calls some of his plays "black" others "pink" but they all sparkle with the glitter of the theatre's cloak of a thousand colors. --Harold Clurman (1958_