(Forgive the generalizations; I am writing this review sans-program.)
This past Sunday, I had the joy of viewing Classical Theatre Company’s UBU ROI by Alfred Jarry at Spring Street in Houston, TX. The last time I visited a production of Classical Theatre Company, the performance was in a different space – now, there is a new space off the Spring Street Studios that I thought provided a great performance area.
The production was well-done. Translated and directed by Phillip Hays, I am curious as how it differed from the original production.
The set was beautifully designed: wooden slat-based boards arranged in an off-kilter way to make it look as though the stage was a construction of boxes or doors and 2′x4′. Certain trap doors and open-out doors were hinged on to main floor of the stage but perfectly hidden. One of the most wonderful aspects about the show was its ability for ridiculousness through its movement – characters popping in and out at all random times, a hidden treasure being revealed as items are pulled from under-stage. This all created a fantastical, whimsical and jubilant-at-times atmosphere for the play to take place in.
The acting, done by a company assembled by Phillip Hays, was a mixture of quality, ages, and strengths. The man playing Ubu had moments of hilarity, but I found the repetition that occurred in the play too planned – there were many moments that it felt rehearsed in the unpleasant way. That, I’d say, would be my main problem with the production.