Simon Stephens began his theatrical career in the literary department of the Royal Court Theatre, where he ran its Young Writers' Programme. His plays for theatre include Bluebird (Royal Court Theatre, London, 1998, directed by Gordon Anderson); Herons (Royal Court Theatre, 2001); Port (Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, 2002); One Minute (Crucible Theatre, Sheffield, 2003 and Bush Theatre, London, 2004); Christmas (Bush Theatre, 2004); Country Music (Royal Court Theatre Upstairs, 2004); On the Shore of the Wide World (Royal Exchange Theatre and National Theatre, London, 2005); Motortown (Royal Court Theatre Downstairs, 2006); Pornography (Deutsches Schauspielhaus, Hanover, 2007; Edinburgh Festival/Birmingham Rep, 2008 and Tricycle Theatre, London, 2009); Harper Regan (National Theatre, 2008); Sea Wall (Bush Theatre, 2008/Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, 2009); Heaven (Traverse Theatre, 2009); Punk Rock (Lyric Hammersmith, London, and Royal Exchange Theatre, 2009); The Trial of Ubu (Essen Schauspielhaus/Toneelgroep Amsterdam, 2010); A Thousand Stars Explode in the Sky (co-written with David Eldridge and Robert Holman; Lyric Hammersmith, London, 2010); Marine Parade (co-written with Mark Eitzel; Brighton International Festival, 2010); T5 (Traverse Theatre, 2010); Wastwater (Royal Court Theatre Downstairs, 2011); Morning (Lyric Hammersmith, 2012); an adaptation of A Doll's House (Young Vic, 2012); an adaptation of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (National Theatre, 2012); and Blindsided (Royal Exchange, 2014) . His radio plays include Five Letters Home to Elizabeth (BBC Radio 4, 2001) and Digging (BBC Radio 4, 2003). His screenwriting includes an adaptation of Motortown for Film4 (2009); the two-part serial Dive (with Dominic Savage) for Granada/BBC (2009); and a short film adaptation of Pornography for Channel 4's 'Coming Up' series (2009). Awards include the Pearson Award for Best New Play, 2001, for Port; Olivier Award for Best New Play for On the Shore of the Wide World, 2005; and for Motortown German critics in Theater Heute's annual poll voted him Best Foreign Playwright, 2007.
The Trial of Ububy Simon Stephens
Set in January 2010, at the International Criminal Tribunal sitting in The Hague, it is day 436 of the trial of the dictator Ubu./i>/i>
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In The Trial of Ubu, Simon Stephens takes the grotesque and amoral megalomaniac dictator from Alfred Jarry's proto-surrealist 1896 play Ubu Roi and places him before a twenty-first century international tribunal.
Set in January 2010, at the International Criminal Tribunal sitting in The Hague, it is day 436 of the trial of the dictator Ubu. Sitting before a UN constituted International Tribunal, he is charged with Crimes against Humanity and other serious violations of international humanitarian law.
Simon Stephens' virtuosic satire examines the often absurd legal wrangling of the international justice system. The Trial of Ubu is a savage comedy that interrogates the assumptions of a Court as it struggles to deal with defendants who are not only opposed to the morality of law, but exist in a different moral dimension altogether.
Exploring the central legitimacy and effectiveness of international law, Stephens asks how a civilised society can deal with the perpetrators of unspeakable crime, and wherein lies the legitimacy of any internationally convened tribunal. Taking a wry and intelligent look at the international courts when reduced to senseless and convoluted legal altercations, this funny yet unsettling play asks important questions about legal against moral justice, and the futility of reasoned argument in the presence of a heinous malefactor.
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