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Kym Vaitiekus shares his thoughts on U.B.U: A CAUTIONARY TALE OF CATASTROPHE

U.B.U: A CAUTIONARY TALE OF CATASTROPHE - what are you going to do about it?

Kym Vaitiekus shares his thoughts on U.B.U: A CAUTIONARY TALE OF CATASTROPHE

Saturday, 21 May 2022, 6pm, KXT Theatre

U.B.U: A Cautionary Tale of Catastrophe - "Filth, Farts, Murder, Mayhem, Perverts, Puppets".

Richard Hilliar's work delivers this promise with a raucous, energetic, entertaining and musical evening. The production has captured the pantomime genre superbly.

We follow the tale of Ubu, the Beast of bog hill, who is used by Fuller Bjullschitt to be the Royal figurehead. Fuller manipulates Ubu to succeed the Throne by evil means. Bjullschitt proceeds to run Pooland with selfish intent. Ubu with a narrow minded narcissistic demeanour becomes the power hungry King, then leads the world to Armageddon.

The machinations of corrupt politics, ignorant communities, the familia and of the selfish individual are explored and presented in this colourful, brazen and animated roller coaster ride.

The ensemble cast, Tristan Black, Amy Victoria Brooks, Rachael Colquhoun-Fairweather, Emily Elise, Angus Evans, Gideon Payten-Griffiths, Shea Russon, Idam Sondhi and Nicole Wineberg present this genre work with aplomb. Their performances and timing are sublime and we delight in their passion and energy.

Kym Vaitiekus shares his thoughts on U.B.U: A CAUTIONARY TALE OF CATASTROPHE

Angus Evans is the funny fart master, Pa Ubu. He plays the disgruntled gross commoner who ignorantly wields unjust power as the newfound King. Evans presents the relentless fart and sharting jokes with gusto while deftly portraying the earnest essence of a disenfranchised man.

Tristan Black is the quintessential Australian politician as Fuller Bjullschitt. Using a superbly charismatic voice and a commanding performance that examines the turbulent journey of a conniving politician. Black delivers one of the highlights of the evening with Mr Segue and an insightful and humorous musical limerick.

Kym Vaitiekus shares his thoughts on U.B.U: A CAUTIONARY TALE OF CATASTROPHE

Emily Elise is the determined Ma Ubu. Her performance perfectly encapsulates the struggles of survival: the trials of relationships, of ruling regimes and of personal journeys.

Shea Russon expertly portrays the Dr. M. Faseema, the authoritarian expert that holds their ground as long as it fits within the aim of staying alive. Russon also delightfully relishes in their other roles, engaging us in those colourful characters.

Rachael Colquhoun-Fairweather is marvellous as Ms Information, another sycophant, enduring the political and misogynistic domain.

Amy Victoria Brooks is the divine Queen Lizardbreath. Brooks holds court with aplomb and with a performance that encapsulates the spiffing and elite monarchy.

Kym Vaitiekus shares his thoughts on U.B.U: A CAUTIONARY TALE OF CATASTROPHE

Gideon Payten-Griffiths plays the pansy Prince Bitchard. While engaging us in a fine portrayal, we are taken on the journey of a mistreated son who has an honest and true intent.

Nicole Wineberg is the naive and tentative Princess Munt. Wineberg beautifully takes on the challenge of a dialogue free character.

Idam Sondhi masterfully puppeteers King Dumc'nt, giving strength and superiority to this finely crafted puppet. Curiously this character is not the 'puppet' of this layered script. Sondhi also plays an amusing leftist, Mr Wicker.

Ash Bell's artfully simple and effective set is complimented by Tanya Woodland's perfectly suited costumes. These clever and colourful outfits set the scene superbly while the actor's make up wonderfully enhances the essence and absurdity of each individual character.

Kym Vaitiekus shares his thoughts on U.B.U: A CAUTIONARY TALE OF CATASTROPHE

Richard Hilliar's work takes us on an exploration of political and societal machinations while aiming at the dilemma of climate change. Using the mayhem, mischievousness, and the absurdity of this genre we are entertained, engaged and berated.

The ensemble is superb in presenting this cartoony pantomime while letting the underlying intent simmer and explode in the finale.

This piece has the aim to educate while entertaining, but there seems to be a confusing element. We are told that we are using the pathetic weapon of hope to fight The Heatening, and that we distract ourselves from our dire future with social media and self-indulgences.

But this production then commits the crime of distraction with it's upbeat ending. This may be a device to emphasise our own delusion, but it has the danger of back firing.

Is Hilliar preaching to the converted who then commit the crime of distraction by following the musical finale and be happily self-aware that they are distracted?

I personally found it contradictory to clap along to a musical number while in tears over the fact that humanity is ignoring the difficult truth. But I praise this work, in that I was weeping at our global dilemma.

Kym Vaitiekus shares his thoughts on U.B.U: A CAUTIONARY TALE OF CATASTROPHE

The production does give one possible answer in that we need to be less greedy, As stated half way through the night when Bitchard announces his political platform when running for leader :

"You want to be an environmentalist but still have a smartphone too?"

This truth is not explored, as to follow it, it may be seen as impossible, and Bitchard's campaign is instantly forgotten.

Instead the night's performance continues to berate us on what we are not doing and admits to offer no answers. This approach may be better aimed at the less aware.

U.B.U: A Cautionary Tale of Catastrophe tackles one of the most important issues facing humanity today. It does so with an expertly executed production of musical and absurdist comedy. The lecture at the end is somewhat condescending and contradictory.

You may be disgusted or amused at the toilet humour, at the lamponing of Left and Right wing politics, you may be disheartened at the current state of humanity or revel in a musical distraction.

But you will be gloriously entertained with an opportunity to ponder this work's intent or happily toe tap home.

Photography courtesy: https://www.toothandsinew.com/

Kym Vaitiekus shares his thoughts on U.B.U: A CAUTIONARY TALE OF CATASTROPHE

Kym Vaitiekus shares his thoughts on U.B.U: A CAUTIONARY TALE OF CATASTROPHE



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