The Franco-German writer Yvan Goll is perhaps best known for his poetry and for assisting in the translation into German of James Joyce's Ulysses.
However in the 1920s he produced a number of groundbreaking and influential plays - Brecht was amongst his numerous admirers. Methusalem is an unjustly neglected masterpiece in which Goll blends Expressionism with Surrealism in a compelling fusion of realism and fantasy. In it he pioneered the use of film on stage and experimented with costume, masks and staging and in the process, like Jarry's Ubu Roi to which it owes a clear debt, helped to pave the way for the Theatre of the Absurd. Above all though the play is a savagely funny social satire that is still startling relevant nearly 100 years after it's German premiere.