The Human Voice

The Human Voice (French: La Voix humaine) is a monodrama first staged at the Comédie-Française in 1930, written two years earlier by Jean Cocteau.[1] It is set in Paris, where a still-quite-young woman is on the phone with her lover of the last five years. He is to marry another woman the next day, which causes her to despair. The monologue triggers the woman's crippling depression.

The Human Voice
Written byJean Cocteau
Date premiered1930
Place premieredComédie-Française
GenreDrama, monologue
SettingParis, France

In 1948, Roberto Rossellini directed the film version of the play,[1] an anthology film L'Amore which had two segments, "Il Miracolo" and "Una Voce Umana", the latter based on Cocteau's play. In 1958 Francis Poulenc composed an opera to Cocteau's text. Cocteau loved it: "Mon cher Francis, tu as fixé, une fois pour toutes, la façon de dire mon texte (My dear Francis: you have worked out, once and for all, how to speak what I have written)". On May 4, 1967, the final installment of the television series ABC Stage 67 was a production of the play, starring Ingrid Bergman, who produced a commercial recording of it. There was also a 1998 BBC Radio production by Robin Rimbaud.


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