UBU ROI by Alfred Jarry, translated by Rob Melrose $14.00 retail (paperback), available at Small Press Distribution (www.spdbooks.org) and Amazon.com. Wholesale available through Small Press Distribution Pubnet (SAN #106-6617).
A new modern translation by Rob Melrose of the classic Ubu Roi script by Alfred Jarry. The Ubu Roi play has divided audiences into passionate, dissenting camps since its 1896 premiere in Paris, an event that changed theater forever. With the first word of the play the audience erupted in pandemonium. People stormed the exits as fist fights broke out. Ubu was a scatological mockery that challenged assumptions about good taste and good behavior, a performance that questioned the very nature of theater and divided the audience between those who came expecting the ordinary and those who came hoping for the extraordinary. Now Ubu is seen as the precursor of the theatre of the absurd and playwrights like Eugene Ionesco, Samuel Beckett and Jean Genet. Rob Melrose’s new translation brings out the Shakespearean echoes of Ubu while using words from classic American comedy to get the Punch and Judy feel.