The Comedian

The Comedian

"Brave & Brilliant " series #6

by Clem Martini
  • historical
  • literary
  • theatre
  • theatrical

In the Roman Republic, comedy is a serious business. Nobody knows this better than Titus Maccius Plautus, the principal comic playwright of his time. Licking his wounds after a series of artistic flops and financial disasters, Plautus returns from his refuge in the country to Rome, desperate to produce a new play. With limited financial backing provided by tough and striking bar owner Casina, Plautus recruits a company of actors from the amateurs and cast offs he can afford. Led by a disreputable drunk who just happens to have a pedigree with one of the most respected travelling Greek acting guilds, the motley company unites an eccentric cast of characters on and off the stage. From Orestes, Plautus’ dour, thrifty director to the eager but untrained neophyte, Fronto, each has a role to play, and each is not quite what they seem.

Redolent with the sights and scents of the ancient world, this novel is a rowdy, boisterous ride through the realm of theater in its infancy.


Clem Martini , author

Clem Martini is the award-winning author of Bitter Medicine: A Graphic Memoir of Mental Illness. He is a professor in the Division of Drama at the University of Calgary.


  • In Martini’s deft hands, the trials and tribulations of mounting a theatrical production in ancient Rome ring true today… Martini’s wit, as well as his intimate theatrical knowledge, is apparent on every page… "The Comedian" provides an enjoyable glimpse into the theatre’s classical roots, while illuminating an offstage drama that, for better or worse, still defines the thespian experience. - Laurel Smith, Quill & Quire Link to review

Rights Holder

Rights Holder: University of Calgary Press



rights available: World

Additional Information

age range: Adult

number of pages: 368

publication date: 02/21/2018

Original language of pub: English

Materials Available: finished book