King Ubu

King Ubu

Alfred Jarry
Dir. Jan Klata
Scena Kameralna
ul. Starowiślna 21



When we play

  • 03.02
  • 04.02
  • 16.05
  • 17.05
  • 18.05


2 h

Jan Klata has drawn some final conclusions out of Alfred Jarry’s swashbuckling play, whose action takes place in Poland, or: nowhere, ones that grotesquely and ruthlessly diagnose our reality. “Eat, drink, and be merry, says Father Ubu, ruler of the land of chaff, plunged in an era of eternal renovation, to all those gathered round. Jan Klata’s play challenges all conventions,” Michał Centkowski states in “A historiosophical treatise on post-politics full of timely allusions? Nothing of the sort. More like South Park at its best (…). Klata is clearly placing his bets on the shameful, yet cleansing power of the cesspit. And one has to admit that this world of heady caricature is drawn with total consistency, constantly taking things to the limit. Crowds of joyful characters mob the stage, dressed in ostentatiously hideous costumes. They whack each other’s heads with inflatable clubs, gyrating to the sounds of popular hits (…) – to a backdrop of the eagle, the Tzar, and Smoleńsk. Mediocrity, primitiveness, ugliness – this is a metaphor for Poland, Klata seems to be saying, or rather hollering.”

Klata consciously and consistently assails the national theater with lowbrow humor that is a good match for his scripts. One symbol is Ubu’s throne, i.e. a toilet seat with a peacock’s tail of bathroom pipes behind him. Maćko Prusak’s choreography joins in the lowbrow humor – ballet aerobics to contrast the flabby actors. The inspiration from Monty Python seems clear, “The Life of Brian”’ in particular. How can it be? British sketch comedy amuses us, and Polish comedy enrages us? What is the problem? Is it that it upsets our sense of sanctity? Our pride? Have we allowed Klata to rouse and provoke us? Then he has achieved his goal.
Jacek Cieślak, Teatr
Created as a co-production with the UNSOUND Festival.



** Dual role


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King Ubu - video