Bellingham’s favorite live theater, iDiOM, will join the national Bad Hombres and Nasty Women’s Theatre Resistance Movement in performing the scatalogical political satire, UBU ROI, with an Opening Reception on Presidents’ Day, February 20, 2017. The production will continue for three weekends at the Sylvia Center for the Arts Studio Theater, with performances at 7:30 p.m.
iDiOM’s production is the world premiere of a brand new translation from the original French by Artistic Director Glenn Hergenhahn-Zhao, who also directs in collaboration with WWU Theatre’s Rich Brown, BAAY!’s Ian Bivins, and Shu-Ling Hergenhahn-Zhao.
After evolving from an earlier marionette puppet show mocking one of Alfred Jarry’s school teachers, the first production of Ubu Roi opened in Paris in 1896, instantly becoming a controversial theater cult classic and influencing the Dada movement, the Surrealists, Theatre of the Absurd, Cubism, and many other writers and artists through the ages.
The story is a loose parody of MacBeth, mashed up with elements of King Lear, A Winters Tale, and Richard III, following a couple named Papa and Mama Ubu, who gain, then lose, the Polish throne in “a frenzy of stupidity, venality, and treachery”. One early critic described it as “MacBeth rewritten by a deranged eight-year-old”.
Alfred Jarry had a rich life as a writer and published many essays and books, but is known mostly for Ubu Roi and its sequels. He died quite young due to his daily habits of drinking absinthe and experimenting with ether. He refused all medical treatment when he became ill, opting instead to joke his way to his grave, taking photos of himself as a corpse on his deathbed and sending them as postcards to all of his friends shortly before his death.
iDiOM Theater is located at 205 Prospect Street in downtown Bellingham. For tickets or more information see www.idiomtheater.com