Book review Jean Tardieu
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Book review: Conversation-Sinfonietta

Book review of Conversation-Sinfonietta by Jean Tardieu

This book review of Conversation-Sinfonietta by Jean Tardieu, is part of my “A play a week” reading challenge. I aim to read 52 plays in a year, and I’ll review every single one right here on the blog!

A symphony of conversation

It’s a script meant for staging a basic conversation as if it was a choir singing together. This means a few repeated lines between the characters, who are named by their tone of voice. The script for Conversation-Sinfonietta suggested placing the actors in accordance with how you would place singers in a choir set-up.

(The image below does not correspond with the book in which I read the script. My copy is an antique from the 1950s and impossible to find a picture of. Also, it’s not as pretty as this one, so enjoy!)

Book review the keyhole by Jean Tardieu

Choir of small-talk

Since the Conversation-Sinfonietta really is a symphony of conversations, it feels like being attacked by small-talk. It’s not exactly easily comprehendable. I didn’t think this was a good read, but it could be fun to stage. That’s an important distinction, since it’s not primarily meant to be literature. It’s definitely meant for staging and it shows. But it ended up being more confusing and just a read to get over with, more than an enjoyable ride through the symphony.

I would have liked to have liked it more, if you know what I mean. But I guess it’s one of those scripts where you kind of have to play it out before the magic hits you. I’m not sure why it was included with other, more absurd plays as it felt more like a removal of social etiquette from the social interactions themselves. Taking it out of context and using the small-talk as merely that. Small talk, in a seemingly endless rain of non-meaningful chatter.

It was an ok read though, not too long either.

Have you read any french absurdist plays yet or are you doing the 52 plays challenge too? I’d like to know what you think of my review of The Keyhole in the comments below – feel free to leave me a comment so I know you were here!

If you want to read more book reviews, you can see my entire collection of online book reviews right here>>. I also have a list just for performing arts books here>>.

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