This is an updated account and comparison of all the major traditions and tendencies in the French theatre from the outbreak of the Second World War to the opening of the 1990s. In the fifty-year period covered by this book, French theatre has undergone profound changes, at both the institutional and artistic level. In this book David Bradby assesses these developments in styles of writing, criticism, acting, directing and stage design. Bradby does not confine his account to events in Paris but also considers the work of the Centres Dramatiques and Maisons de la Culture. While giving due attention to the work of well-known playwrights such as Beckett, Ionesco, Adamov and Genet among others, Bradby also shows that the period has been a rich one for experimentation in French theatre. The book also contains an introductory survey of the French theatre of the inter-war years and concludes with a bibliography and an historical table of productions. It is illustrated with black and white photographs and is intended for students of drama as well as French literature; the political and cultural background is explained and all quotations are in English.