Today, one hundred years after the play's first performance, a new musical version of this essential modern masterpiece is being hailed as the "best new musical . . . in a generation" (John Heilpern, The New York Observer). Franzen's version of the text—for so long poorly served in English—is unique in capturing the bizarre and inimitable comic spirit that animates almost every line of this unrelentingly tragic play. There couldn't be a better time for this thrilling, definitive new translation.
A moralist who wore the mask of an immoralist, Wedekind was the terror of the German bourgeoisie. His work was censored and the original Lulu play was not even published during his lifetime; Wedekind toned it down and adapted it to make two plays: Pandora's Box and Earth-Spirit. The version in this volume, Lulu: A Monster Tragedy, is based on the first manuscript, presenting the original sexually voracious heroine to a British audience for the first time. The volume also contains Spring Awakening, "a work of great compassion that still has a lot to teach us about the dangers of battening down adolescent sex..." (Guardian). The translation of Spring Awakening ("scrupulously faithful both to Wedekind's irony and his poetry" The Times) was commissioned by the National Theatre and that of Lulu: A Monster Tragedy ("the Bonds' version is sharper and funnier than its predecessors" Guardian) was toured nationally. Both plays are complemented by the translators' historically illuminating introductions.
A Student Edition of Wedekind's classic 1891 expressionist play about adolescent sexuality.
Wedekind's notorious play Spring Awakening influenced a whole trend of modern drama and remains relevant to today's society, exploring the oppression and rebellion of adolescents among draconian parents and morals. This seminal work looks at the conflict between repressive adulthood and teenage sexual longings in a provincial German town.
Highly controversial and with themes of sexuality, social attitudes and adolescence, the play is a popular and provocative text for study, especially at undergraduate level.
This translation by Edward Bond and Elisabeth Bond Pablé first brought the play to English audiences when it premiered at the National Theatre in 1974. Receiving high praise ('scrupulously faithful both to Wedekind's irony and his poetry.' The Times), this version is now considered to be the definitive English translation.
This Student Edition features expert and helpful annotation, including a scene-by-scene summary, a detailed commentary on the dramatic, social and political context, and on the themes, characters, language and structure of the play, as well as a list of suggested reading and questions for further study and a review of performance history.