Ubu The King Rough House Theatre

Fresh off tour, A. Jarry's 1896 masterpiece retold with original music &  70+ stunning hand crafted puppets.


"Long touted as proto-Dadaist satire only to be revealed now as a prophetical history of the Trump presidency, Alfred Jarry's 1896 play follows the exploits of a greedy, cowardly, flatulent, stupid piece of id called Ubu... Jarry himself performed a version of it with marionettes, but I think he'd have been more impressed with this bunraku-esque treatment from Rough House Theater" - Chicago Reader


"Ubu the King" is as much spectacle as social commentary and body jokes.. there is a cautionary tale within the play about entitlement, oddly prescient given that we've been failing at governance for thousands of years: just because one has a title, has worldly wealth and arbitrary placement within a hierarchy, doesn't mean they should be leading people" - NewCity Chicago

 


Until 10/01. Thu-Sat 730p. $15-$20.  Info@RoughHouseTheater.com

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09/05/16 - 10/2/16

Thu-Sat 730p


Ubu the King, Tony Adler, Chicago Reader 9/14/16 - "Long touted as proto-Dadaist satire only to be revealed now as a prophetical history of the Trump presidency, Alfred Jarry's 1896 play follows the exploits of a greedy, cowardly, flatulent, stupid piece of id called Ubu, who overthrows the king of Poland, Macbeth style, at the urging of his equally repulsive (if smarter) wife, steals all he can, picks fights with everybody, and then runs away. Jarry himself performed a version of it with marionettes, but I think he'd have been more impressed with this bunraku-esque treatment from Rough House Theater, devised by the cast and directed by Mike Oleon. Grace Needlman's cunning and hilarious soft-body designs give us Papa Ubu as a kind of nasty, talking bag, Mama Ubu as a bag with a face-lift, and braces of soldiers ready for slaughter. Black-costumed koken descend into their own subsidiary coups. And the debraining machine was such a hoot that I stopped minding the kazoos".



The Sheet King A Review of Ubu the King at Rough House Theater, Jay Van Ort, NewCity Chicago 9/14/16
- "What must be said about Pa Ubu? He farts. He is simple. He is a childish, power-hungry coward. And his body count is higher than you imagine a bed-sheet puppet's would be. But what about the shades standing behind Pa Ubu? Those who wield Ma Ubu and Pa Ubu, their rivals and their allies?

"Ubu the King" follows Pa Ubu's rise to the top, his prowess (read: ineptitude) as financier, commander and king. Killing the present king and almost disposing of his son, Ubu's ascension echoes Macbeth's ambition though with less eloquence than the Scottish king. Here, there is butt-scratching and many "shittums." Retold by Rough House Theater and designer Grace Needlman, "Ubu" may have found itself the perfect medium: a puppet play.
Brimmed with stuffing and bolt-eyes, "Ubu the King" is as much spectacle as social commentary and body jokes.

In the center, power and manipulation; on the skin, hidden hands and phantom joints. Framed as such, the puppeteers become ghostly figures who struggle for control of the play as much as Pa Ubu struggles to remain in control. This provides a direct corollary: the analogy is set, these puppets are people and the people are puppets, all guided by mysterious ambitions and forces beyond their control.

Beyond that, there is a cautionary tale within the play about entitlement, oddly prescient given that we've been failing at governance for thousands of years: just because one has a title, has worldly wealth and arbitrary placement within a hierarchy, doesn't mean they should be leading people. An obvious lesson, though: Donald Trump is running for president. Shittums.

With dozens of puppets in play, the cast of five puppeteers (David Gordezky, Charlotte Long, Claire Saxe, Sarah Stockdale and Nick Strauss) stay on the tips of their fingers and the tops of their games. When the energy is high, humor is high. When they slow down and show you how the joints crack, Pa and Ma become menacing shadows of what we really can be"

 

 

 

 

 

From Rough House Theatre - Following an acclaimed Midwest & East Coast tour, Rough House presents their production of Ubu the King, Alfred Jarry's 1896 masterpiece of proto absurdism, elaborately retold with original music and over 70 stunning hand crafted puppets.

In this new adaptation by artistic director Mike Oleon, Rough House's Ubu the King brings Jarry's seminal satire to life in all its absurd, gortesque glory. In the hands of five power hungry puppeteer performers, Pa Ubu murders, lies and farts his way up to the Polish throne and back down again. Beautifully designed and meticulously realized by designer Grace Needlman,Rough House's Ubu is ridiculous, heartbreaking and spectacular.

 

Author
Alfred Jarry

Director
adapted by Mike Oleon and Shelly Geiszler

Performers
David Gordezky, Charlotte Long, Claire Saxe, Sarah Stockdale, Nick Strauss

Production
Grace Needlman (Lead Puppet Design & Construction); Kathryn Shivak (Puppet Design); Will Rudolph (Lighting & Set Design and Construction); Maddy Low (Costume Design); Niki Dreistadt (Puppetry Construction); Nicole Neino (Puppetry Construction); Claire Saxe (Dramaturg & Production Assistant); Fletcher Pierson (Stage Management & Assistant Director)

Tags: Theater, American, 2016