Gaberbocchus Press published the first English edition of
Alfred Jarry's Ubu Roi in 1951, translated by Barbara Wright. She wrote
the text directly onto litho plates and Franciszka Themerson drew 204
illustrations over this text. The book was printed in black on yellow paper. A
year later, for a dramatized reading at the ICA in London, she made papier-mâché
In 1963-64, she designed Michael Meschke's production of Kung
Ubu for the Marionetteatern in Stockholm. She continued her involvement with
the figure of Ubu Roi through drawings, and finally in 1967-70, she devised her
own comic strip version of UBU consisting of 90 one-metre-long drawings. It was
later published in Holland and Japan.
The grotesque sense of the absurd
in Jarry's satire became an inspiration for much of her later art.
was awarded the gold medal at the 1966 Triennale of Theatre Design, Novi Sad,
and in 1976 elected honorary member of Union Internationale de la Marionette for
her services to theatre.
UBU comic, 1969
A scene from the
production of Kung Ubu, Marionetteatern, Stockholm,
Body mask for
the Whole Russian Army, 1964
Pere Ubu, 1964