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Edinburgh Fringe 2015

Today is my 100th birthday or the disappearance of Ubu Roi

Dead Iconics

Genre: Absurd Theatre

Venue: Greenside at Infirmary Street


Low Down

It is the 100th birthday of Tadeusz Kantor and we are invited to his party. With a nod to the structure of Ubu Roi we are taken through a physical setting up of his party whilst it seems hard to get him on the telephone. It may seem to be set up precisely as last year but it is fresh and vibrant though be warned – it makes little sense.


This is grotesque, makes little sense and has such wonderful characters throughout as to make it worthwhile just by watching them keep in shapes. There are several characters that catch the eye – Blockhead, Ubu Roi himself, kimposter – as we watch them create a space in which to celebrate. This is a celebration of absurdist art at its best.

What is impressive is that this young cast of around 20 have few missteps and take the whole thing as seriously as if they were filling huge theatres with adoring crowds. They take to the stage with gusto and the repartee between them is well timed as well as the holding of individual characters who each have been blown beyond proportions; this sizzles.

Set pieces abound and my favourite will always be broom v moon but various others show the versatility of the cast to perfection. The music has some deliciously haunting melodies that underscore this majestically.

This young company have found a niche and created a piece that shall stay with me for some time. The make up, running towards the end on some of the characters even added as it was like the decadent backdrop to the words and actions of the characters. Their costumes which have been crafted to illuminate their characters are simply wonderful.

It is fair to say that I really enjoyed this show. It might have made little sense but the fact was that they revelled in that and took us along with them. To find absurdist theatre celebrated in this way without any apology should be the preserve of more than just the young. This is a company showing how it should be done and I shall certainly be keeping an eye out to see if they return and with what shall they come.