translated by Kenneth McLeish
Discussing the manner in which a middle-class man is saved from retribution for an apparently illicit tryst by a level-headed woman of supposedly low morals, translator Kenneth McLeish writes that The Girl from Maxim's comes 'close to the Naturalist plays of the period in which bourgeois hypocrisy, especially in sexual matters, was satirised in more serious dramatic form.'
The morning after a heavy drinking session and Dr. Petypon is struggling to remember what he did the night before. Waking on his sofa to a sore head and a chamber in disarray, clarity begins to dawn on him, only to reveal, to his horror, that a show-girl from the Folies-Bergère is sleeping in his bed.
That girl, Shrimp, continues to be insinuated in the Petypons' life, and as the Doctor's wife must be avoided, and his uncle pacified, she proves herself to be a high-kicking, quick-thinking success.
The Girl from Maxim's is perhaps Feydeau's best-known play. It premiered at the Théâtre des Nouveautés, Paris, in 1899.