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Fiction Historical

The Comedian

by (author) Clem Martini

University of Calgary Press
Initial publish date
Feb 2018
Historical, Literary, Black Humor
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Feb 2018
    List Price

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Titus Maccius Plautus' career is on the decline. Once renound for bringing Greek comedies to the Roman world, now he struggles to stage a single play. Unlucky with money and unlucky in love, Plautus faces the world with wry dignity. This could be the performance that brings back fame and fortune, or the one that ends it all.

Engaging, thoughtful, and funny, The Comedian dives into the rough and tumble world of arts in its infancy. Clem Martini draws on his talent and experience to bring to life the signs and sounds of a world where playwrights suffered and succeeded - but mostly suffered.

About the author

Clem Martini is an award-winning playwright, novelist, and screenwriter with over thirty plays and nine books of fiction and non-fiction to his credit, including Bitter Medicine: A Graphic Memoir of Mental Illness, winner of the Calgary Book Award, and his most recent anthology of plays, Martini with a Twist. He has served on the boards of numerous writing organizations including the Alberta Playwrights Network, the Playwrights Guild of Canada, and the Canadian Creative Writers and Writing Programs. His texts on playwriting, The Blunt Playwright and The Greek Playwright, are used in universities and colleges across the country. He is currently a professor in the School of Creative and Performing Arts at the University of Calgary.

Clem Martini's profile page


  • Short-listed, Georges Bugnet Award for Fiction
  • Short-listed, Reader Views Annual Reader's Choice Award

Editorial Reviews

You really can't ask for more.

—Alex Rettie, AlbertaViews


The Comedian is a thoroughly entertaining and polished work.

—Mark Lisac, Prime Times


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 and Quire

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