Canadian theatre company bring critically-acclaimed show to Newbridge

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Canadian theatre company bring critically-acclaimed show to Newbridge

The cast of Ubu on the Table

Canadian theatre company, Théâtre de La Pire Espèce, will visit Kildare for one night with their critically acclaimed Ubu on the Table this Thursday, February 2.

The show, at Newbridge's Riverbank Arts Centre, is the first time the acclaimed adaptation of Alfred Jarry’s Ubu Roi comes to Kildare; however the company has had over 800 performances around the world, in more than 15 countries including France, Belgium, Spain, Finland, Bulgaria, Romania, Mexico, Brazil, Turkey, and Russia.

Ubu on the Table was translated into English by Bobby Theodore and created by Olivier Ducas and Francis Monty. It is performed by Étienne Blanchette and Mathieu Gosselin with lighting by Jonas Bouchard.

Since 1999, Pire Espèce has been borrowing techniques from different disciplines such as puppetry, theatre of objects, clowning, cabaret and street theatre. By exploring the creative process, it explores stage conventions and the rules of dramatic narration, and seeks to establish a close complicity with the audience.

La Pire Espèce is also nineteen original works, one exhibition, two street theatre pieces, four cabarets and more than 1600 performances. Half of that number were performed abroad during recurrent tours in Europe and around the world. Its work include also two Spanish translations, three English translations and a bold adaptation for both the deaf and the non-hearing impaired, five co-productions in quebec and in Europe and several professional workshops for theatre artists and teachers.

Two armies of French baguettes face each other in a stand-off as tomato bombs explode, an egg beater hovers over fleeing troops and molasses-blood splatters on fork-soldiers as they charge Père Ubu. Anything goes as Poland’s fate is sealed on a tabletop! Multiple film references spice things up as two performers hammer-out a small-scale fresco of grandiose buffoonery.

Ubu is undeniably comfortable surrounded by kitchen utensils that double as gorging tools and weapons to annihilate the “sagouins”. The banality of the objects dramatically underscores the grotesque nature of the characters: Captain Bordure, embodied by a standard hammer, is forever stuck in his rigid stance, forced to repeat the same ridiculous expressions over and over. The Object’s expressive limits force the creators to focus on the dramatic action rather than on the psychological development of the characters. The actor-puppeteers (in full view) appeal to the audience’s intelligence and imagination by conveying a second degree to the storyline.

Tickets for the performance at €15 are available online from www.riverbank.ie or 045 448327.