La Comète du Roi Mirambole
King Mirambole in his palace, with a sceptre and an enormous hat. He is facing a young woman in a dress. Pierrot with his arms in the air and two puppets killed by an Eastern soldier with a big sword. A comet flies across the background.


16 pages

La Comète du Roi Mirambole

| 1862 | Paris, France
Le Roi Mirambole, L’Astrologue, Le Médecin, L’Orfèvre, Le Bourreau, Pierrot, Le Cabaretier, Balibutte, Le Héraut
Number of acts

The play deals with machinations within the royal court and draws a picture of a tyrannical but gullible sovereign, similar to some oriental sultans in One Thousand and One Nights.

Plot summary

A melancholic tyrant is cured by love

King Mirambole is tyrannical, vain and hypochondriac, and he wants to marry. Three rival courtiers (the Doctor, the Astrologer and the Goldsmith) flatter the King, smear one another and conspire to persuade him to choose a woman from their respective families as his wife. The Doctor convinces the King that only a comet put on his forehead will cure him of all his pains. To cause the Astrologer’s downfall, he also advises the King to leave this task to him. The Astrologer suggests that the King ask the Goldsmith to make one, while the Goldsmith persuades the King to entrust the Doctor and the Astrologer with the task. In the end, the valet Pierrot commits to bringing the king a comet. Pierrot goes to his brother, an innkeeper, brings back a bottle of “comet wine” and convinces his niece Balibutte to follow him. When he comes back to the palace, he introduces his niece as a comet embodied in a woman, and he cures the king with the wine. Balibutte relates a dream to the king, which both exposes the courtiers’ betrayals and tells him how to punish them. The king executes the courtiers, marries Balibutte and names Pierrot grand vizier.

First performance

Paris, France,

Théâtre des marionnettes du jardin des Tuileries

Publications and translations


Duranty, Théâtre des marionnettes du jardin des Tuileries, texte et composition des dessins par M. Duranty, Paris, MM. Dubuisson et Cie, Éditeurs-Libraires, 1862.

Modern edition

Louis Edmond Duranty, Théâtre des marionnettes, Arles, Actes sud, Coll. Babel, 1995. ISBN: 978-2-7427-0652-5

  • Louis Duranty, Merchant of blows-with-a-stick and other plays (English and French edition), English translation by Sean Keohane, Charlemagne Press (Canada) 2007, [266 p.], ISBN-13: 978-0-921845-26-3

Literary tones
Satirical, Fantasy, Comical
Animations techniques
All audiences
Public domain


Theatrical techniques



Written by

Carole Guidicelli