Marius, Fanny, César – 3 Marcel Pagnol plays translated by Michael Johnston

Marius, Fanny and César are three plays by Marcel Pagnol, author of the better known Manon des sources and Jean de Florette. The plays are sometimes called The Marseilles Trilogy.

The trilogy follows the lives of Marius, his father César and his sweetheart Fanny.

In the first play, Marius conceals from César his burning desire to run away to sea but Fanny is so much in love with Marius that she encourages him to go and, just possibly, get the sea out of his bloodstream.

In the second, a pregnant Fanny marries Panisse, a man old enough to be her father, who loves Fanny enough to accept her child as his own and preserve her reputation (despite the paternity being an open secret). Marius returns from his travels some eighteen months later but Fanny will not desert Panisse.

In the final play, Panisse dies and leaves Fanny a wealthy widow and her son Césariot something of a snob. But Panisse’s dying wish was that the boy was told the truth about his parentage and the play explores how everyone comes to terms with the fact no longer being concealed.

The plays were translated with the permission and approval of the Pagnol Trust.


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