translated by Stephen Mulrine
Pierre Marivaux's play The Game of Love and Chance (Le Jeu de l'amour et du hasard) is an 18th-century French comedy of manners in the Commedia dell'arte tradition, based on the simplest of plot devices, the exchanging places of master and valet, mistress and maidservant. It was first performed on 23 January 1730 by the Comédie Italienne.
This translation by Stephen Mulrine was published by Nick Hern Books in its Drama Classics series in 2007.
In the play, a young woman, Silvia, is visited by her betrothed, Dorante, whom she does not know. To get a better idea of the type of person he is, she trades places with her servant, Lisette, and disguises herself. However, unbeknownst to her, her fiancé has the same idea and trades places with his valet, Arlequin. The 'game' pits the two false servants against the two false masters, and in the end, the couples fall in love with their appropriate counterpart.