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Ubu Roi

Ubu Roi

Written by Alfred Jarry
Performed in French

In 2007, Peter Brook invited Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod to form a group of actors to perform Racine’s Andromaque. Following that production’s international success, Cheek by Jowl worked with the same French actors on their new production of Alfred Jarry’s Ubu Roi.

The sheer vitality of Jarry’s creation offered a thrilling new point of departure for the company in bringing this extraordinary eponymous figure to the stage.

Produced by Cheek by Jowl in a co-production with the Barbican, London, Les Gémeaux/Sceaux/Scène Nationale and La Comédie de Béthune – Centre Dramatique National du Nord-Pas-de-Calais.

“Brilliant, moving with physical fearlessness between elegance and hideous indignity.”

The Times
Cast and creative team


Xavier BoiffierBordure
Camille CayolMère Ubu
Vincent de BouardLe Roi Wenceslas
Christophe GrégoirePère Ubu
Cécile LetermeLa Reine Rosemonde
Sylvain LevitteBougrelas

Creative Team

DirectorDeclan Donnellan
DesignerNick Ormerod
Associate DirectorMichelangelo Marchese
Associate and Movement DirectorJane Gibson
Assistant DirectorBertrand Lesca
Costume SupervisorAngie Burns
Lighting DesignerPascal Noel
Composer & Sound DesignerDavy Sladek, with additional music by Paddy Cunneen
Video DesignersBenoit Simon and Quentin Vigier
Voice CoachValérie Bezançon
Fight DirectorFrançois Rostain
Technical DirectorAndré Néri
Original Production ManagersDougie Wilson and Manuel Vidal
Lighting and VideoVincent Gabriel
SoundClémentine Bergel and Kenan Trevien
WardrobeMarina Aguilar
ASM/PropsJeanne Birckel and Camille Riquier
Surtitles translationHarold Manning
Surtitles OperatorEdward Fortes
Company ManagerEdward Fortes
(Théâtres et Cie)Béatrice Catry
Previous performances

Previous Performances

16–17 October 2015Guanajuato, Cervantino Festival, Mexico
26 July–2 August 2015Worldwide, Livestream from Gerald W. Lynch Theater
22–26 July 2015New York City, Gerald W. Lynch Theater / Lincoln Center Festival, USA
5 February 2015Geneva, Forum Meyrin , Switzerland
3 February 2015Fribourg, Théâtre Equilibre, Switzerland
30 January 2015Neuchâtel, Théâtre du Passage , Switzerland
4–5 December 2014Turin, Limone Fonderie Teatrali di Moncalieri, Italy
30 November 2014Cluj, Hungarian Theatre of Cluj, Romania
21–22 November 2014Moscow, Net Festival, Russia
16 October 2014Châteauroux, Équinoxe Scène Nationale, France
8–11 October 2014Le Mans, Les Quinconces-L-espal / Scène conventionnée / Théâtres du Mans, France
1–5 October 2014Nantes, Le Grand T, France
22 July 2014Ribadavia, MIT (Mostra Internacional de Teatro), Spain
17–20 July 2014Barcelona, Grec Festival, Spain
14 July 2014Lisbon, Almada International Theatre Festival, Portugal
18–22 June 2014London, Barbican, UK
11–14 June 2014Cambridge, Cambridge Arts Theatre, UK
13–14 November 2013Quimper, Théâtre de Cornouaille, France
6–9 November 2013Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, Théâtre de Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, France
15–17 October 2013Cergy-Pontoise, L’Apostrophe, France
8–12 October 2013Nancy, Théâtre de la Manufacture, France
3–4 October 2013Beauvais, Théâtre du Beauvaisis, France
26–29 September 2013Madrid, Teatro María Guerrero (Centro Dramático Nacional), Spain
21–22 September 2013Sainte-Maxime, Le Carré, France
19–20 September 2013Zagreb, Zagreb World Theatre Festival, Croatia
4 August 2013Teatro La Fenice, La Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy
9 June 2013Sibiu, Sibiu International Theatre Festival, Romania
10–20 April 2013London, Barbican, UK
3–6 April 2013Marseille, Théâtre National de Marseille La Criée, France
26–29 March 2013Bordeaux, Théâtre National de Bordeaux en Aquitaine, France
14–3 March 2013Sceaux, Les Gémeaux, Paris, France
5–8 March 2013Béthune, Comédie de Béthune, France
5–9 February 2013Oxford, Oxford Playhouse, UK
30 January–2 February 2013Coventry, Warwick Arts Centre, UK
26–27 January 2013The Hague, Koninklijke Schouwburg, Netherlands
Reviews and awards



“Endlessly inventive and wickedly funny”

Sarah Hemming, Financial Times. Read the full review

“Exhilaratingly fresh…blackly hilarious”

Paul Taylor, Independent. Read the full review

“Donnellan gets richly uninhibited performances from his cast…battlefield chaos in a world of civilised chic”

Michael Billington, The Guardian. Read the full review

“An inspired production of a gruesome drama”

Henry Hitchings, Evening Standard. Read the full review

“The brilliance and intelligence – but also the fun – of Declan Donnellan’s wise, ticklish staging for Cheek by Jowl…”

Roderic Dunnett, Exeunt. Read the full review

“Cheek By Jowl has created a dinner party as scandalous as they come… a beautiful production, and one not to be missed.”

Hannah Tookey, A Younger Theatre. Read the full review


“Hilarious, startling, unsettling”

Fabienne Darge, Le Monde

“Outrageous, overflowing with unbridled energy”

Nathalie Simon, Le Figaro. Read the full review (en français)

“Donnellan leads this balletic performance with staggering virtuosity”

Philippe Chevilley, Les Echos

“Donnellan reminds us that theatre is an essential art which can keep us alive. Moving, surprising and possessing a dramatic power for which only Cheek by Jowl have the gift.”

Fabienne Alice Dubois, Read the full review (en français)

“Donnellan’s version breathes new life into the play”

Jack Dion, Read the full review (en français)


“Another masterful lesson of [Declan Donnellan’s] genius and the talent of his company Cheek by Jowl”

Imma Fernández, El Periódico

“An incisive play, to the point, and very amusing”

Javier Vallejo, El País Madrid Sábado


Els XVII Premis de la Crítica de les Arts Escèniques 2015 (Catalonia)

Espectacle internacional (Best international production)
Production photo
Sylvain Levitte and Cecile Leterme. Photograph: Johan Persson.
Production photo
Vincent de Bouard. Photograph: Johan Persson.
Production photo
Cecile Leterme and Sylvain Levitte. Photograph: Johan Persson.

“Donnellan masterfully releases the primal energy of Jarry’s work”

Le Monde

Aghast at the sight of its ignoble other self

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