In 1907, « La Puce à l’oreille » [A Flea in Her Ear] marked Feydeau’s triumphant return to vaudeville. Commenting on its impressive construction and incredible inventiveness, a contemporary critic described it as “a fireworks display set off over an anthill” while also expressing enthusiasm for the skill with which it revisits the theme of the double.
The primary source of the confusion that prevails throughout the play is a package opened “by mistake” by Raymonde: it contains suspenders sent from the Minet-Galant hotel. Piqued, she convinces herself that her husband is being unfaithful She asks her friend Lucienne to write a letter to invite her husband to a rendezvous in the same hotel. The accomplice’s plan goes terribly wrong because the letter written in her hand falls into those of her own husband, who in turn thinks he is being cheated on... All the characters end up at Le Minet-Galant where the hotel porter, Poche, is a dead ringer for Raymonde’s husband. « La Puce à l’oreille » pushes Feydeau’s ingenious use of stage resources to new limits, introducing an “emergency staircase” and, most notably, a stratagem to make adulterous couples disappear at the slightest alert.
By entrusting Lilo Baur with this play, whose first production at the Comédie-Française in Jean-Laurent Cochet’s staging dates only to 1978, Éric Ruf has offered the Troupe another opportunity to showcase its mastery of the mechanics of vaudeville.
The director could not have asked for better material with which to develop her artistic world and satisfy her love of acting.