Léocadia

Léocadia (Time Remembered) is a play by Jean Anouilh that premiered at the Théâtre de la Michodière in Paris on 2 December 1940.[1][2] It is one of Anouilh's Pièces roses, together with Humulus le muet (1932), Le Bal des voleurs (1938), and Le Rendez-vous de Senlis (1941). For the occasion, Francis Poulenc composed one of his most celebrated songs, "Les Chemins de l'amour", sung by Yvonne Printemps.

Léocadia
Richard Burton and Susan Strasberg in the 1957 Broadway production Time Remembered
Written byJean Anouilh
Characters
  • Amanda
  • The Prince
  • The Duchess
  • The Butler
  • others
Date premiered2 December 1940 (2 December 1940)
Place premieredThéâtre de la Michodière, Paris
Original languageFrench

Plot

Léocadia tells the story of a young prince madly in love with a Romanian opera singer, Léocadia Gardi. The young man only knew her for three days: like Isadora Duncan, she died strangled by her shawl. Inconsolable, he lives in his memory of the young woman.

His aunt—the Duchesse d'Andinet d'Andaine—reconstructs the setting and places of those three days like a theater director. Actors play the parts of the butler and servants during those days of happiness. Amanda, a poor milliner and look-alike of the singer, is called upon to seduce the prince, in the hope that life will prevail over memory.

At first, the young man clings desperately to his dream, but eventually comes to realize through Amanda that his memory of Léocadia corresponds to his fear of life being so ephemeral. His anguish at leaving an illusory memory yields soon to the call of real life. The rigid, theatrical world imagined by the duchess falls apart, becoming a false comedy. The prince leaves his illusions and discovers that Léocadia was only an ideal, devoid of substance. His love of Amanda helps him return to real life.[3]

Premiere cast

Translation and adaption

Patricia Moyes translated the play to English, using the title Time Remembered. It was staged both in London and on Broadway in 1957, with Richard Burton and Helen Hayes in the leading parts.[4] In 2000, Jeffrey Hatcher wrote an adaption of the play in English, calling it To Fool the Eye.[5]

Reprise

Comédie des Champs-Élysées in 1984

References

  1. "The performance : Leocadia / pièce en 5 actes / Paris (France) : Théâtre de la Michodière – 02-12-1940". BNF. Retrieved 8 February 2017.
  2. Liste des créations" publiée par le théâtre dans ses programmes en 1953 (in French). théâtre de la Michodière.
  3. Spencer, Charles (6 June 2002). "Routledge's doughty duchess rescues Anouilh from ennui". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 8 February 2017.
  4. Morton-Sayner, Anthea (22 August 2000). "Patricia Moyes / Writer in the cosy tradition of British detective fiction – focusing on the solution, not the crime". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 February 2017.
  5. Hatcher, Jeffrey Hatcher (2000). To Fool the Eye: An Adaptation of Jean Anouilh's Léocadia. Dramatists Play Service. ISBN 978-0-8222-1846-3.
  6. "Leocadia [Spectacle] / mise en scène de Pierre Boutron ; pièce de Jean Anouilh ; décors de Augusto Pace ; costumes de Yvonne Sassinot de Nesle ;". BNF. Retrieved 8 February 2017.
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