Produced by Cheek by Jowl in a co-production with the Barbican, London, Les Gémeaux/Sceaux/Scène Nationale and La Comédie de Béthune – Centre Dramatique National du Nord-Pas-de-Calais.
The film recording of Ubu Roi was originally presented as part of Lincoln Center Festival 2015, and is here presented with the kind permission of Digital Theatre+.
Cheek by Jowl is an international theatre company founded in 1981 in London by theatre director Declan Donnellan and stage designer Nick Ormerod. For several decades already it has enjoyed worldwide popularity and recognition for its insightful contemporary stage interpretations of classical and modern drama. On the occasion of their guest-tour to Sofia with Life is a Dream in the frame of World Theatre in Sofia, we are presenting an earlier production of the renowned company highly appreciated by the critics and audiences, Ubu Roi (1896), premiered in 2013 in Paris.
In 2007, Peter Brook invited Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod to form a group of actors to perform Racine’s Andromaque. Following that production’s international success, Cheek by Jowl worked with the same French actors on their new production of Alfred Jarry’s Ubu Roi.
The sheer vitality of Jarry’s creation offered a thrilling new point of departure for the company in bringing this extraordinary eponymous figure to the stage.
“Jarry said Ubu Roi was about his old schoolmaster, whom he hated, and whom he and other pupils would call Ubu and poke fun at, but the more Nick and I read the play, the more it struck us that it was about not one dreaded figure, but two – a diptych: it’s about him and her – to the alchemist that’s the King and Queen and to anyone else its ‘mummy and daddy’. With this in mind, there grew a kind of triangle – and the more we worked in the rehearsal room, the more a dysfunctional family unit emerged in front of us: Mère Ubu, Père Ubu and their son, Jarry himself aka “Bougrelas”. Our production of Ubu Roi largely followed the subjective journey of that teenager, and leapt between two worlds of an apparently pristine bourgeois apartment into the carnage of the world of Ubu.” Declan Donnellan for BBC Arts
Els XVII Premis de la Crítica de les Arts Escèniques 2015 (Catalonia)
In French with Bulgarian subtitles.
The streaming of a video recording of the production is accessible for free for 72 hours from 17 June, 7 pm, till 20 June, 7 pm, on the territory of Bulgaria on viafest.org.