French writer of farces.
Feydeau was born in Paris, son of the novelist Ernest Feydeau. He began writing for the theatre in 1881, and over the next thirty-five years produced some forty plays. His works are masterpieces of construction; the intricately contrived plots and fast-moving dialogue are enhanced by satirical effects derived from his keen observation of human behaviour and everyday life. At the same time, he made use of all the classic props and devices of farce, such as elaborate stage settings and improbable situations, and did not stray far from the traditional themes of adultery, misunderstanding, and mistaken identity.
Feydeau's many successes, still performed at the Comédie Française in Paris, include Tailleur pour dames (1888), L'Hôtel du libre échange (1894; translated as Hotel Paradiso, 1956), La Dame de chez Maxim (1899), and La Puce à l'oreille (1907). Occupe-toi d'Amélie (1908) was adapted by Noël Coward for the English stage as Look after Lulu (1959).