King Ubu at Mona Foma

In a spectacular world premiere, Mona Foma is collaborating with Tasmania’s award-winning Terrapin Puppet Theatre to present King Ubu, a wild satire of power and greed, adapted from 19th-century France to Launceston in 2020.
A modern reimagining of the absurdist play Ubu Roi by Alfred Jarry, King Ubu will be staged in the natural amphitheatre of Launceston’s Cataract Gorge. A unique theatre and music experience on a massive scale, the free, family-friendly performance will unfold as night falls in one of the world’s most stunning urban nature sites.
King Ubu tells the tale of raging buffoon and would-be dictator, Pa Ubu, who kills the royal family of Poland in order to take the throne. Willing to sacrifice anybody to accomplish his ends, Ubu ultimately shows his true colours when he is forced to do battle with the king of Poland’s surviving son.
Three-metre-high puppets created by Bryony Anderson will be brought to life by a cast that includes voice actors Kris McQuade (from televisions’ Rosehaven, Wentworth) and John Xintavelonis (known for his performance as Pumbaa the warthog in Australia’s stage musical The Lion King), alongside a cast of over 60 local performers. King Ubu has been adapted by Willoh S. Weiland, and is directed by Sam Routledge, Artistic Director of Terrapin Puppet Theatre, with a core team of Tasmanian creatives. An original score has been created by sound artist Dylan Sheridan, with songs by Dean Stevenson and Willoh S. Weiland, and musical direction by Brian Ritchie.
Brian Ritchie, Mona Foma curator said: “Alfred Jarry’s Ubu plays have had a major influence on theatre, art and fashion ever since they were first written and performed in 1896. They shock or delight every audience member who encounters them. They have rarely been staged in Australia however. It is no exaggeration to say this radical reimagining of King Ubu in iconic Cataract Gorge will be a once in a lifetime experience.”
With a range of food vendors and bars available on site, King Ubu at Cataract Gorge will be an unforgettable experience for audiences of all ages, and an undoubted highlight of Mona Foma in 2020.
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Department of Communications and the Arts’ Festivals Australia program and the City of Launceston Event Sponsorship Program.
King Ubu
Wednesday 15 – Friday 17 January, entry from 7.00pm performance at 8.00pm First Basin, Cataract Gorge, Launceston

Peter J Snee

Peter is a British born creative, working in the live entertainment industry. He holds an honours degree in Performing Arts and has over 12 years combined work experience in producing, directing and managing artistic programs & events. Peter has traversed the UK, Europe and Australia pursuing his interest in theatre. He is inspired by great stories and passionately driven by pursuing opportunities to tell them.

Peter J Snee

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