Written in French in 1982, Catastrophe features a theatre director and his assistant arranging a protagonist, who stands on a black block submitting to their direction. 'D', the director, wears a fur coat and matching toque (a kind of hat) and smokes a fat cigar. He has only a short amount of time to devote to the rehearsal, as he must go to a caucus meeting. 'A', the assistant, behaves with humility and alacrity, though she carefully wipes D's armchair before she can relax in it. She has frequent recourse to her pad and pencil. Luke, the offstage lighting man, remains invisible throughout. 'D' gets a 'storm of applause' for his creation but the brief existence of the protagonist ('P') ends as a skull: '… raises his head, fixes the audience. The applause falters, dies.'