Concept

The Human Voice

Summary
The Human Voice (La voix humaine) is a monodrama first staged at the Comédie-Française in 1930, written two years earlier by Jean Cocteau. 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. About the play Cocteau's experiments with the human voice peaked with his play La voix humaine. The story involves one woman on stage speaking on the telephone with her (invisible and inaudible) departing lover, who is leaving her to marry another woman. The telephone proved to be the perfect prop for Cocteau to explore his ideas, feelings, and "algebra" concerning human needs and realities in communication. Cocteau acknowledged in the introduction to the script that the play was motivated, in part, by complaints from his actresses that his works were too writer/director-dominated and gave the players littl
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