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category: Drama
published: Oct 2017
publisher: Talonbooks

The Just

by Albert Camus, introduction by Frank Cox-O’Connell, translated by Bobby Theodore

tagged: canadian

Camus’s The Just (Les Justes) is a five-act play based on the true story of a group of Russian revolutionaries who assassinated Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich in 1905. First produced in 1949, The Just is a significant, eerily resonant, moving, and highly theatrical work. With a humanist perspective, Camus delves into the hearts and minds of five idealists who each grapple with a heinous choice and ultimately commit murder, in the name of justice. Now, more than ever, the play provokes and reverberates with a troubling yet necessary line of inquiry. Do the ends justify the means? Is terrorism ever a viable choice? What is the true cost of resistance? What is the difference between a freedom fighter and a murderer?

The point that is so compelling and haunting about The Just is the way Camus uses such clearly drawn characters to tell such an intimate yet horrific story. He completely understands and sympathizes with his characters, but never apologizes for their actions. And although it was written more than fifty years ago, and set in another era, The Just feels entirely contemporary and vital. In this play, Camus attempts to understand what it would require to take violent action and assassinate someone in power yet somehow maintaining a sense of justice and morality. Is this even possible?

Bobby Theodore’s fresh, modern translation enhances the contemporaneity of the play. With an introduction by Frank Cox-O’Connell.

About the Authors

Albert Camus

Frank Cox-O’Connell

Bobby Theodore

Contributor Notes

Bobby Theodore is a screenwriter, playwright, and translator. Bobby’s worked on several TV series, including Murdoch Mysteries, Flashpoint, and Knuckleheads (an adaptation of the hit Québecois cartoon, Têtes à claques). He’s also written episodes for the acclaimed CBC radio drama, Afghanada. Nominated for a Governor General Literary Award in 2000 for his translation of 15 Seconds by François Archambault, Bobby has now translated more than twenty plays from French to English. For the stage, Bobby co-created 300 Tapes (with Ame Henderson), a devised performance that premiered at the Theatre Centre in Toronto and at ATP in Calgary, and he’s currently working on Swallow, a play set in the drama-filled world of minor hockey. His translation of François Archambault’s You Will Remember Me premiered at ATP, won a Betty Mitchell Award for Outstanding New Play, and was produced across Canada and in the United States. Bobby is the resident dramaturg and host of the Glassco Translation Residency in Tadoussac.

Editorial Review

Reviews for the Stage Production: Bobby Theodore's translation of The Just captures both the human essence of the characters, their inner conflicts as well as their philosophical idealism. -The Slotkin Letter

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