“Privacy and discretion: Free Exchange Hotel, 220 Rue de Provençe! Recommended to married people, together or apart!”
When right at the beginning of the play the horrified Madam Pingle reads this advertisement to her husband, little does she know about the the rendez-vous that he had just arranged with the wife of his neighbour and business partner, Monsieur Paillardin nor could any one of them dream what is about to happen to them all during that fateful night.
Free Exchange Hotel was an absolute triumph when it premièred in Paris back in 1894 and since then (together with A Flea in Her Ear) has maintained the position of the most popular farce by Georges Feydeay, king of the genre and the greatest master of comedy in France after Molière. The manic, furious and seemingly innocent mechanism of this comedy (a record 279 entrances and exits) toys with its characters, placing them in cruelly funny and unsuspectingly absurd situations which indirectly talk about the unpredictability of life, just like the ones we are living.