Ubu and the Truth Commission
This book presents the full play text of the multidimensional theatre piece written by Jane Taylor and performed by William Kentridge and the Handspring Puppet Company. The play, which has received world acclaim, attempts to make sense of the madness which overtook South Africa during apartheid. The main protagonist is based on the scandalous character created by the French surrealist poet, Alfred Jarry, in his play, Ubu Roi. However, Ubu and the Truth Commission is more than an adaptation of Jarry’s play in the context of contemporary South Africa. Taylor and Kentridge have skillfully woven Jarry’s themes of ultra-violence, conceit, cowardice and self-pity with the testimony of witnesses at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The relationship between power, performance and language is explored as Ubu is forced to confront the consequences of his actions through the testimony of his victims. The text is fully illustrated with photographs of the production and William Kentridge’s drawings for animation.
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