Rough House Theatre presents Ubu the King. The 1896 proto-surrealist play will feature original music and over 70 hand crafted puppets. The show runs September 9 through October 1, Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30pm at the Chopin Theatre at 1543 W Division, Chicago.
Alfred Jarry premiered Ubu Roi (Ubu the King) on December 10, 1986. It’s opening cry of “Merdre!” or “Shit!” prompted the audience to riot. Jarry continued to stage the play as a marionette show with the Theatre des Pantins. Rough House follows in Jarry’s puppetry tradition.
In the play, the absurd Pa Ubu slaughters his way to the Polish crown, assaults the population and fights a bear. The vulgar parody borrows elements from Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Hamlet, Richard III and The Winter’s Tale.
Rough House has performed at the National Puppetry Festival, Open Eye Figure Theater’s Toy Theater After Dark Festival, Brain Frame and the Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival. They not that they have been seen in “auditoriums, lotion factories, funeral homes, basements, bars, galleries, punk houses and even the woods of Appalachia.”