Ubu the King
Based on the motifs of the play Ubu the King by Alfred Jarry
Performance Exchange supported by ETC
Produced by: Slovenian National Theatre Drama Ljubljana
Every era has its own King Ubu. Lorenci's performance creates its own vision of brutality and primitivism of our time, based on Jarry’s unscrupulous, rowdy and blackhumoured play Ubu the King (1896).
The scandal that divided the audience after the 1896 premiere performance of Ubu the King of then merely 23-year-old Alfred Jarry unexpectedly heralded the developments of the 20th and seemingly also the 21st centuries, in the fields of both art and social life. In the arts, Ubu the King foreshadowed the avant-garde currents that swept away traditional forms, including Surrealism, Dadaism, and even the Theatre of the Absurd, absurd drama, and the subsequent Luddism. While for society it announced the forthcoming avalanche of greed and brutal slaughter. All this comes in the form of an unscrupulous, rowdy, and black-humoured play.
The reckless, greedy, avaricious, but actually cowardly Papa Ubu, incited by his wife, Mama Ubu, a parodied version of Lady Macbeth, to brutally seize power and govern in an even crueller and more totalitarian manner, evokes many allusions. One could even say that every era has its own King Ubu.
This production was shown at International Theatre Festival MESS. The production is available for touring.
© Peter Uhan