(Rosumovi Univerzální Roboti - "Rossum’s Universal Robots") A futuristic play by Karel Çapek (1920). An apocalyptic vision of a revolution by robots which satirizes the contemporary world.
Published in Czech in 1920, the play opened in Prague on 25 January 1921. The English translation by Paul Selver, adapted for the English stage by Nigel Playfair, was produced by Basil Dean for the Reandean Company at St. Martin's Theatre, London in April 1923. The play introduced the word "robot" to the English language and to science fiction as a whole.
Performance history in South Africa
1928: Three successful performances produced by the Johannesburg Reps as their first production.
1936: Produced again by the Johannesburg Reps in 1936.
(The Reps productions apparently had an interesting side-effect in South Africa: the term "robot" [pronounced "row-bot"] was also applied to the new automated traffic lights that had just made their appearance in Johannesburg in 1929, and rapidly became - and has remained - the standard term for traffic lights in South African English as well as Afrikaans and other indigenous languages.)
Translations and adaptations
Du Toit , 1988
Hoffman, Arthur and Anna Romain, 1980.
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