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Restaging Ubu and the Truth Commission : 20 Years On (Paperback) (Jane Taylor)
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First premiered in South Africa at the Grahamstown Festival in 1997, the playUbu and the Truth Commission is being restaged around the world to mark the occasion of 20 years after the end of apartheid. Over its life it has become a set work in drama courses locally and internationally. The play is a collaboration between writer Jane Taylor, artist William Kentridge, and Basil Jones and Adrian Kohler of the Handspring Puppet Company, recently acclaimed for their playWar Horse, which has toured the world. The script, together with a selection of William Kentridge’s drawings, and photographs taken from the performance showing the puppets and performers, brings together the powerful multimedia effects of the stage performance. And in this revised edition, the writer, director and puppeteers have added to their notes accompanying the play, reflecting on what the play means 20 years after it was first performed.Ubu and the Truth Commission is based on the scandalous character created by the French surrealist poet, Alfred Jarry, but it is more than just a dramatization of evil adapted to a contemporary South African context. Taylor and Kentridge have skilfully woven Jarry’s themes of extreme violence, conceit, cowardice and self-pity with revelations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Ubu is forced to confront the consequences of his actions through the testimony of his victims. The play remains as relevant today as it was 20 years ago.