Amédée: The New Tenant. Victims of Duty
The author of such modern classics as The Bald Soprano, Exit the King, Rhinoceros, and The Chairs, Eug ne Ionesco is "one of the most important and influential figures in the modern theater” (Library Journal). This crucial collection combines The New Tenant with Am d e and Victims of Duty--the plays Richard Gilman has called, along with The Killer, Ionesco’s "greatest plays, works of the same solidity, fulness, and permanence as [those of] his predecessors in the dramatic revolution that began with Ibsen and is still going on.”
In Am d e, the title character and his wife have a problem--not so much the corpse in their bedroom as the fact that it’s been there for fifteen years and is now growing, slowly but surely crowding them out of their apartment.
In The New Tenant a similar crowding is caused by an excess of furniture--as Harold Hobson said in the London Times, "there is not dramatist . . . who can make furniture speak as eloquently as Ionesco, and here he makes it the perfect, the terrifying symbol of the deranged mind.”
In Victims of Duty, Ionesco parodies the conformity of modern life by plunging his characters into an obscure search for "Mallot with a t.” In these as in all his plays, Ionesco poses and solves his tragicomic dilemmas with the brilliant blend of gravity and hilarity that is the hallmark of the absurdist theater.
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THE NEW TENANT
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2ND FURNITURE MOVER AM£DEE AMED£E AMEDEE and MADELEINE AMEDEE II AMEDEE'S armchair BAR-OWNER body brass Buccinioni Buzz CARETAKER catch chair Chew CHOUBERT clock CONCIERGE course dark dead man's feet DETECTIVE DETECTIVE'S EUGENE IONESCO everything eyes faster fault feel find Mallot forgive FURNITURE MOVER goes GENTLEMAN growing Hallo hands head hear heard IST FURNITURE MOVER LADY left-hand door light Listen Little rascal lonesco look Madame MADELEINE goes MADELEINE II MADELEINE'S MADO Monsieur Chief Inspector Monsieur Nicolas move MOVER comes mushrooms never NICOLAS night noise Oh dear perhaps play police POSTMAN pull right-hand door round SECOND POLICEMAN shoulders shouting shut shutters side sideboard silence sits SOLDIER sorry stage stand stop suddenly Swallow switchboard takes talk tell theatre There's tired turns Victims of Duty voice waiting wall What's window WOMAN worry wuff