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Petrov-Vodkin's painting of a theatre audience enjoying a farce.
Poster for a production of Boucicault's farce Contempt of Court, c. 1879. From the Library of Congress

In theatre, a farce is a comedy that aims at entertaining the audience through situations that are highly exaggerated, extravagant, and thus improbable.[1] Farces are often highly incomprehensible plot-wise (due to the many plot twists and random events that occur), but viewers are encouraged not to try to follow the plot in order to avoid becoming confused and overwhelmed. Farce is also characterized by physical humor, the use of deliberate absurdity or nonsense, and broadly stylized performances. Farces have been written for the stage and film. Furthermore, a farce is also often set in one particular location, where all events occur.

Classical antiquity[edit]






Particularly popular in Marathi language Theatre: a few such examples...

  • Zopi Gelela Jaga Zala (1958)
  • Dinuchya Sasubai Radhabai (1960)
  • Pala Pala Kon Pudhe Pale To
  • Gholaat Ghol



  • Japan has a centuries-old tradition of farce plays called Kyōgen. These plays are performed as comic relief during the long, serious Noh plays.




United States[edit]






  1. ^ "farce - Free On-Line English Dictionary - Thesaurus - Children's, Intermediate Dictionary - Wordsmyth". 
  2. ^ Christopher Rea, "The Age of Irreverence: A New History of Laughter in China" (University of California Press, 2015), ch. 5: "Farce"
  3. ^ Zhang Tianyi, “The Bulwark.” Tr. Nathan Mao. In Joseph S.M. Lau, Leo Ou-fan Lee, and C.T. Hsia, eds., Modern Chinese Stories and Novellas, 1918-1948. NY: Columbia UP.
  4. ^ "Zhang Tianyi's Swindling for National Salvation". 
  5. ^ http://www.theatresprives.com/francais/auteurs/biocamoletti.html
  6. ^ "Weekend im Paradies von Franz Arnold und Ernst Bach - Felix Bloch Erben GmbH & Co. KG - Theater-Verlag Desch GmbH". 
  7. ^ European Authors 1000–1900. The H. W. Wilson Company, Bronx, 2000. ISBN 0-8242-0013-6.
  8. ^ Teresa Murjas (2007). "Zapolska, Gabriela: The Morality of Mrs. Dulska". The University of Chicago Press Books. Retrieved 2007-11-26. 
  9. ^ August Grodzicki, "Bardzo polska tragikomedia." Życie Warszawy nr 5; 07-01-1976

External links[edit]