Ubu: a larger-than-life puppet extravaganza in a natural amphitheatre of rock
and water (aka Cataract Gorge). Based on Alfred Jarry’s Ubu Roi, a wild satire of power and greed from
nineteenth-century France, King Ubu was wickedly updated for a modern-day Launceston.
It’s a rollicking tale for the times—the story of a raging buffoon and wannabe dictator on a revolutionary rampage. With ginormous puppets, a huge cast that includes Kris McQuade (Rosehaven, Wentworth) and John Xintavelonis (The Lion King), and live music from Violent Femmes bassist Brian Ritchie and his musical mates.
King Ubu was presented by Terrapin and Mona Foma as the centre piece of the 2020 festival and attracted audiences of over 7,500 across three nights.
This project was supported by the Australian Government through the Department of Communications and the Arts’ Festivals Australia program and the City of Launceston Event Sponsorship Program.
“Director Sam Routledge holds this massive event together. With the cast of thousands uniting behind the grotesquely heightened comedy and an elaborate pageantry that at times threatens to turn into a super-eisteddfod, King Ubu is community theatre at its most inclusive, spectacular and ambitious.”