We don’t like to play favorites and with a list of some 200 titles we can’t. But we thought you might like to know which titles have been the most popular. So here is a list of our Top Ten. All are in print, so if you missed one just click on its cover.
Category: Theatre of the Absurd
LOOK OUT MAMA, IT’S DEBAUCH-O-RAMA!
“A harsh, hilarious, scurrilous, and scatological satire.”
—Ed Simon, JSTOR Daily
Poet John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester, was considered one of the greatest English satirists — a nimble wit and scribbler of sublime wordplay, parodies & pornographic puns.
Hailed by Graham Greene and Ezra Pound, Wilmot is perhaps best known for his outrageous libertine satires, including this wickedly funny Restoration drama.
Originally titled The Farce of Sodom, or the Quintessence of Debauchery, DEBAUCH-O-RAMA is an absurdist “closet drama” – written to be read aloud and not performed. It consists of five acts in raunchy rhyming couplets and a madcap cast of characters:
- Bolloxinion – King of Sodom
- Cuntigratia – his Queen
- Pricket – young Prince
- Swivia – Princess
- Buggeranthos – General of the Army
- Pockenello – Prince and favourite of the King
- Borastus – Buggermaster-General
- Pene & Tooly – Pimps of Honour
- Officina – Maid of Honour
- Fuckadilla – Maid of Honour
- Cunticulla – Maid of Honour
- Clytoris – Maid of Honour
- Flux – Physician to the King
- Vertuso – Dildo- and Merkin-Maker for the Court
Let the curtain rise and the laughter begin!
A Restoration Closet Drama
by John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester
Pocket Erotica [№ 11 ]
65 pp.; paper, perfect bound; 4 x 6 inches; $10
Hooray! Allais! Today!
BRING ME THE HEAD OF FRANZ JOSEPH HAYDN!
Jason E. Rolfe‘s mesmerizing new chapbook, THE PUPPET-PLAY OF DOCTOR GALL, is a shadowy existential drama — an absurdist murder-mystery set in Vienna in 1820, with a cast of curious characters: Franz Joseph Gall, The Stranger, Ernst Sieber, Tomas Hocheder, Madam Denebecq, and Count Sedlnitzky.
Are they mere puppets whose every move is directed from above by Madam Denebecq, a self-titled mechanikus? Or are they all too human, performing their lives before our very eyes? And who, in the name of heaven, has stolen the head of Franz Joseph Haydn?
We had intended to reveal the answers to these questions but, alas, it’s too late. The lights have dimmed and the audience is holding its collective breath (if breathe they do).
Order your copy before the curtain rises.
No strings attached.
Alfred Jarry Lives!…Encore!
The Pope’s Mustard-Maker (Le Moutardier du pape) was the last work that Alfred Jarry finished, a few months before his death in 1907. It is a bawdy three-act farce loosely based on the medieval legend of Pope Joan, with a huge cast and lively songs bubbling with rhymes and wordplay.
Readers who know Jarry only from Ubu or his novels may be surprised that he wrote operettas, but his are fully Jarryesque, with his usual gusto for smutty jokes, legend, folklore, puns, wild invention, and popular theater. In his hands, Pope Joan becomes Jane, who runs off with her lover and disguises herself as pope. How will she pass inspection on the slotted chair? What will she do when her husband shows up? And has there ever been another production number celebrating the spiritual virtues of enemas?
This is the first translation of this major work; it also includes an introduction and notes by the translator, Doug Skinner.
All hail The Pope’s Mustard-Maker!
THE POPE’S MUSTARD-MAKER
by Alfred Jarry
Translated from the French by Doug Skinner
Absurdist Texts & Documents #37
135 pp., paper, $12.95
CLICK HERE TO ORDER
It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s…insane!
These plays, plays by Axelrod, Mark, the other Axelrod, not the one who worked for Obama, Obamaless, the other Axelrod, his plays, are. And are the plays of Axelrod, no
t the one who worked for Obama, Obamaless, and are the plays of Axelrod, Axelrodian. Yes, in all manner of speaking, speaking high or low, they are and you, the Reader, Reader of Axelrod, not the one who worked for Obama, Obamaless, the other Axelrod, should read these plays with relish. For without relish, they would not be as absurd.
Can Superman avoid deportation?
Will Van Gogh survive an IRS audit?
Does Donald Trump talk to himself?
Has the world gone mad?
This outrageous and timely collection confronts our contemporary nightmares with devastating wit and insight. In the provocative title play, Superman stands trial as an illegal alien. In “A Colloquy of Birds,” Axelrod takes aim at a flock of notorious Republican women — the “politically effete.” And just when you thought it was safe to applaud, experience the maniacal monologues of Chairman Trump.
Here are eight rousing absurdist dramas destined to be modern classics.
SUPERMAN IN AMERICA & OTHER ABSURD PLAYS
by Mark Axelrod
Trade paperback, 354 pp., $16
In the wings, these special things…
Theatre of the Absurd
Standing Room Only
The play’s the thing….
We proudly raise the curtain on this new collection by Eckhard Gerdes—three plays in a variety of styles which challenge preconceptions and subvert complacency.
Who knew that novelist Eckhard Gerdes was also a playwright? Members of the audience who saw the absurdist play ’S a Bird first performed at the Chopin Theatre in Chicago in 1994 did, and they almost died laughing in the process. The children of King-Edison Elementary School in Macon, Georgia, did when they argued about who would get to play which character in Clockwise in their school production in 2000. And a few dozen close friends of Eckhard Gerdes did when they read the script of The Death of Anton Webern, a play that has until now never been published or performed. These three plays offered here are very different from one another, but all show that distinctive voice and personality for which the writing of Eckhard Gerdes has become known. Enjoy these glimpses into the mind of one of America’s most innovative novelists as he depicts the drama and absurdity of human relationships.
“A writer clearly impatient with the currently devalued conventions of modern writing. His work is a fresh wind!” —Michael Moorcock
THREE PLAYS BY ECKHARD GERDES
5.06″ x 7.81″ (12.852 x 19.837 cm)
trade paperback; 132 pages