Alfred Jarry‘s absurd and funny political satire Ubu Roi created a storm when it first appeared in Paris in 1896, striking a blow for artistic freedom with its outrageous burlesque. Set in fictional Poland, the utterly unlikable Ma and Pa Ubu violently take over the kingdom, become dictators and unleash a reign of mayhem on society. Ubu Roi uses scatological humour, farce and irreverence. Although the lewd parody loosely blends elements of ‘Richard III’ and ‘Macbeth’, Jarry’s characters are blatantly stupid, cowardly, cruel, greedy, gluttonous and grotesque. Seen by some as an overgrown schoolboy joke that unfolds like a gory cartoon, Jarry’s work actually inspired theatre of the absurd and Dario Fo as well as influencing the dada and surrealist movements in art.