The Bald Prima Donna

Plot summary

The Smiths are a traditional couple from London who have invited another couple, the Martins, over for a visit. They are joined later by the Smiths' maid, Mary, and the local fire chief, who is also Mary's lover. The two families engage in meaningless banter, telling stories and relating nonsensical poems. At one point, Mrs. Martin converses with her husband as if he were a stranger she just met. As the fire chief turns to leave, he mentions "the bald soprano" in passing, which has a very unsettling effect on the others. Mrs. Smith replies that "she always styles her hair the same way." After the Fire Chief's exit, the play devolves into a series of complete non-sequiturs with no resemblance to normal conversation. It ends with the two couples shouting in unison "It's not that way. It's over here!" ("C’est pas par là, c’est par ici!" )[4] right before a blackout occurs. When the lights come back on, the scene starts from the beginning with the Martins reciting the Smiths' lines from the beginning of the play for a while before the curtain closes.

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