This article is from 2007.

Smash hit political satire returns

It’s not often on these pages that we guide you in the direction of a play that isn’t a premiere, yet this smash hit of 2004, here substantially reworked by author/director John Clancy of Americana Absurdum seems well worth flagging up. A grotesque comic reworking of Jarry’s Ubu Roi the play has travelled internationally since its storming premiere in Edinburgh.

In it, the grotesque title character destroys all about him with his ravenous appetite. A razor-edged satire on American consumerism and the ideology that creates it, the play originally featured Whose Line Is It Anyway? star Mike McShane. The new version sees the younger Del Pentecost in the lead, which Clancy believes changes the whole tone of the piece. ‘He’s a younger Fatboy, with a boyish face – the difference is that thing about the childishness of the Fatboy; he’s like a cranky, hungry boy who should have been put to bed an hour ago – the difference is, he’s in charge of the world.’

And will the passage of years change the piece? ‘I think it still resonates. The world has changed but Bush hasn’t so it’s still very relevant. We’ve updated it though, and my hope is that it can go beyond Bush.’

The Green Room, 220 0885, 5–26 Aug (not 13), 1.10pm, £9–£10 (£8–£9). Previews 2–4 Aug, £7.


  • 4 stars

Grotesque, Bush-focused reworking of Jarry's 'Ubu Roi', performed with such style that each rampantly profane monologue becomes almost poetic. 'Part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2007'

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