Many consider Jarry's "King Ubu" the big bang of modernism and the beginning of contemporary theatre as we know it. The central reason to stage Jarry at Theatre NO99 (by Tiit Ojasoo and Ene-Liis Semper) was the sheer artistic energy of it as an artwork, as a text that is weird beyond belief.
Theatre NO99's „King Ubu“ was a massive experiment in theatrical form. It was played not in the premises of Theatre NO99 in Tallinn, but as a site specifc work in several huge concrete hangars at a semi-abandoned former airfield in Western Estonia creating a strong atmosphere of gloom. Jarry's text is truly surreal so there couldn't have been human characters on stage. Hence all the actors were wearing full body costumes dehumanizing them to the point of becoming puppets open for societal manipulation. Also the original punk-meets-folk soundtrack by young multi-talented composer Jarek Kasar was everthing other than ordinary.
Yet there was a more contextual reason for staging it in Estonia in 2006. Populism is at the heart of the doings of King Ubu, the random man, who through intrigues and extraordinary will to power climbs his way to the throne of Poland and launches an attack on Russia. There were clear parallels with Estonia politics at the time, a playground for upstart young populists.
The art direction for NO91 King Ubu won the Estonian annual theatre award.
Director Tiit Ojasoo
Director and Art Director Ene-Liis Semper
Original Music by Jarek Chalice Kasar and Tõnis Mägi
On stage Tõnis Mägi, Marika Vaarik, Tambet Tuisk, Gert Raudsep, Inga Salurand, Risto Kübar, Sergo Vares, Andres Mähar, Rasmus Kaljujärv, Mirtel Pohla, Kristjan Sarv and Jaak Prints