Plays Directory : The Insect Play

The information below is intended to give you a brief guide to the show and highlight some of the other The Mandy Network members who have also been involved in this show.

  • Author
    Karel and Josef Capek
  • Written
    1921
  • Overview
    Karel and Josef Capek’s The Insect Play is one of the pair’s best known and well-received collaborations. Also known as The Insect Comedy, The World We Live In, and From Insect Life, the play was published in its original Czech in 1921 as Ze zivota hmyzu. The play was first performed at the National Theatre in Brno, Czechoslovakia, on March 8, 1922 (some sources say February), running for about one hundred nights. The Insect Play made its American debut later in 1922, and its London premiere the following year. The play has been performed only intermittently since that time because of the demanding staging it requires.

    The brothers Capek began work on the play in 1920. Their first collaboration after an eight-year hiatus, it would also be one of their last. The Insect Play was a combination of many forms, including fable, revue, and satire. All but a few of the characters are insects that are anthropomorphized (given human qualities). The brothers commented on human society in their place and time period (Czechoslovakia in the post-World War I era) via these insects. Many critics believe that the Capeks were inspired by other animal plays and short stories, including Jean Henri Fabré’s La vie des insects (The life of insects) and Souvenirs entomologiques, and a story by Russian author Vsevolod Garsin, What Never Happened. Though The Insect Play has been problematic for critics from the beginning, many have found much to praise over the years. As Lucia Mauro of the Chicago Sun-Times wrote, when com menting on a 1999 production of the play, ‘‘their keen observations of the life cycle and poignant visions of war’s futility remain relevant to this day.’’

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3 known characters

1 known roles


Connected mandy members:

Rafi Raja
Rafi Raja
Actor
2018, Felix
Bradford College
Bryony Cole
Bryony Cole
Actor
2015, Mrs. Cricket
Natasha Brotherdale Smith
2015, Chrysalis
Alan Aykebourne Theatre
Lauren McGarvey
2014, Parasite
Courtyard Theatre
Claire Heverin
2014, Snail
Courtyrad Theatre
Arthur Ustinov
2014, Mr. Cricket/Lepidopterist
Caitlin O'Reilly
Caitlin O'Reilly
Stage Manager
2014, Stage Manager
The Arcola Theatre
Emma Ley
Emma Ley
Actor
2014, The blind ant
The courtyard theatre
Jasmeen James
2014, Clytie
The Courtyard Theatre
Lena Edwards
Lena Edwards
Actor
2014, The Inventor
Linda J Bloomfield
2014, Director/Designer
Prissian Theatre
Emily Sitch
Emily Sitch
Actor
2014, 2nd Engineer
The Court Theatre
Charlie Frances
2014, Otto
Chris Bell
Chris Bell
Actor
2014, The Ichneumon Fly
Courtyard Theatre
Matt Thursfield
Matt Thursfield
Sound Technician
2013, Sound designer
Miskin theatre
Georgia Mair
Georgia Mair
Assistant Stage Manager
2013, Front Of House
Miskin Theatre
Helen Gardner
Helen Gardner
Wardrobe Assistant
2013, Wardrobe Instructor (Costume Assistant)
North West Kent College
Phil Edmonds
Phil Edmonds
Actor
2013, The Tramp
Kelly Eva-May
2012, Clytie
Simmonds theatre
Fiona Gillings
2011, Tramp

Alternative Names

Insect Play