Eugène Ionesco

was a Romanian-French playwright who wrote mostly in French, and one of the foremost figures of the French Avant-garde theatre. Beyond ridiculing the most banal situations, Ionesco’s plays depict the solitude and insignificance of human existence in a tangible way.

Ionesco is often considered a writer of the Theatre of the Absurd. This is a label originally given to him by Martin Esslin in his book of the same name, placing Ionesco alongside such contemporary writers as Samuel Beckett, Jean Genet, and Arthur Adamov.

His works include Amédée (1954); Tueur sans gages (1959-The Killer); Le Rhinocéros (1959-Rhinoceros), Le Roi se meurt (1962-Exit the King), Le Piéton de l’air (1963-A Stroll in the Air); La Soif et la faim (1966- Thirst and Hunger); Jeux de massacre (1970-Killing Game); Macbett (1972), a retelling of Shakespeare’s Macbeth; and Ce formidable bordel (1973-A Hell of a Mess). Rhinoceros, a play about totalitarianism, remains Ionesco’s most popular work.