King Ubu (1989)

23/02/1989 – 04/03/1989

Alfred Jarry

Presented by Scratch! Theatre

A must for Uni students and other children, this show has everything children like: greed, violence, swearing, selfishness, death, clowns and fat people. It is also jampacked with pungent wit and biting social commentary to appeal to the most grown-up tastes. Jonathan Marshall and John Ryan recalls that Bernard Caleo as UBU commenced the show by miming defacating on stage. The audience was provided with an old knife or other item of cutlery as a ‘ticket’ and as they passed the door, a cast member, Matthew Jones, snatched it off them and bent it in a vice before returning it (i.e. it was ‘stamped’). A broken toaster was used as a smoke machine because, in Guy’s words, it was “that kind of show”. The venue stank of burnt toast.

The show used a very large cast. All those who auditioned performed in the production, even if only in the armies. Le Couteur noted, “weapons for battle scenes will include cut-out guns and plastic kitchen implements”. The armies were differentiated by coloured t-shirts and life-saver caps. The production used mime. Financial details were also included in the application for funding.

Guy Le Couteur
Thirty eight cast members including: Simon Barfoot, Bernard Caleo (Ubu), Michael Cathcart, Gillian Dite, Virginia Ennals, Leo Faust, Geoff Favaloro, Sam Funnell, Sharif Galal, Mari Giombanco, Jean-Paul Hussey, Rosie Joy, Fiona Macleod, Celia Mason, Darren Maxwell, James McDonagh, George Mina, Pam Newman, Alisci Page, Anne Radvansky, Owen Rigby, Katrina Ross, Peter Symons, Frances Terrett, Emily Westmore, Simon Wood, Gill Webley (stage manager), Fred Watson and Wayne Lewis (lighting), Richard Vabre (lighting operator), Guy Le Couteur (translation).