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By Anita Senaratna
July 23, 2013
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By Anita Senaratna
July 23, 2013
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It's a play about a king with a toilet-brush sceptre that takes place in a large pit of mud, but Ubu Roi's director Jason Cavanagh thinks the play just about sums up Australian politics and media right now.

"It would be nice to think of Ubu as this ridiculous, grotesque, purile, simplistic, animalistic, infentile yet fictional creature," says Cavanagh. "But then you have a little look at the standard of our political debate, and the figures that are today held up as inspirational; people who are famous for being rich, or worse yet, famous just for being famous… and you realise that there are potential and actual Ubus everywhere."

The play was originally written by Alfred Jarry as a send-up of French bourgeoisie, and when it debuted in Paris in 1896, the audience started rioting before they'd even made it past the first word. It's unlikely to have quite the same effect on a 21st-century Melbourne audience, but there will be literal as well as metaphorical mud-slinging, so you might want to steer clear of front-row seats for this one.

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