Ubu (The Ubu Plays)
Paperback, 160 pages ISBN: 9781854591890Publication Date:
28 Aug 1997
Size: 161mm x 106mm£4.99 £3.99You save £1.00 (20%)
EPUB, 160 pages ISBN: 9781780012681Publication Date:
15 Aug 2013
£4.99 £3.99You save £1.00 (20%)

Ubu (The Ubu Plays)

By Alfred Jarry Translated by Kenneth McLeish

Paperback £4.99£3.99

EPUB £4.99£3.99

Drama Classics: the World's Great Plays at a Great little Price

Alfred Jarry's trilogy of plays about the comically grotesque character of Pa Ubu, satirising power, greed, and bourgeois pretension.

The Ubu Plays (King Ubu, Cuckold Ubu and Slave Ubu) caused scandal when they first appeared in Paris in the 1890s, with their surreal and frequently obscene energy, and their broad parodies of Shakespeare. They have since acquired cult status in European drama, and are seen by some as harbingers of modernism.

In King Ubu (Ubu roi, first performed in Paris in 1896), Pa Ubu is a cowardly hanger-on at the court of Good King Wenceslas of Baloney. Nagged by his fearsome wife Ma Ubu, he gathers a band of Barmpots and seizes the throne. But Ubu soon turns into a tyrant, debraining anyone who disagrees with him, murdering all the aristocrats and middle classes and extorting triple taxes from the peasants. When Ma Ubu runs off with a handsome soldier, his downfall suddenly seems inevitable...

Cuckold Ubu (Ubu cocu) is the darkest and most surreal of the plays. Pa Ubu takes up residence in the home of Peardrop, a breeder of polyhedra, and he and his Barmpots tyrannise the neighbourhood, despite the efforts of Pa Ubu's Conscience and Peardrop to stop them.

In Slave Ubu (Ubu enchaȋné) Pa Ubu decides that he has had enough of tyranny, and that the only way to be free is to become a slave, with unpredictable results.

Also included is the short sketch Up Ubu (Ubu sur la butte), comprising scenes and sequences from Ubu roi, with added songs.

This volume of The Ubu Plays, in the Nick Hern Books Drama Classics series, contains fresh and performable English translations by Kenneth McLeish, as well as an introduction to the plays and a chronology of Jarry's life.

Press Quotes

'Its lunatic grotesquerie is brilliantly caught in McLeish's new translation... Exhilaratingly combines the erudite with the lavatorial... classical parody and surreal farce anticipating avant-garde art as well as the Goons and Monty Python'

Paperback, 160 pages ISBN: 9781854591890Publication Date:
28 Aug 1997
Size: 161mm x 106mm£4.99 £3.99You save £1.00 (20%)
EPUB, 160 pages ISBN: 9781780012681Publication Date:
15 Aug 2013
£4.99 £3.99You save £1.00 (20%)

Also by Alfred Jarry:

Slave Ubu
King Ubu
Cuckold Ubu

Go to author page...

Also by Kenneth McLeish:

Don Juan
An Italian Straw Hat
Medea (Drama Classics)
Miss Julie (Drama Classics)
Peer Gynt
Hedda Gabler (Drama Classic)
A Doll's House (Drama Classic)
Rosmersholm (Drama Classics)
A Flea in Her Ear
The Lady From the Sea (Drama Classics)
Ibsen: Three Plays
The Master Builder (Drama Classics)
Women of Troy

Go to author page...

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