'Insane' play entertaining

By Josh Dalton

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Despite Halloween having passed, there is still plenty of room for the spooky, the deranged and the twisted. "Ubu Cocu," playing at a.k.a. Theatre, is all of those things and more.

"Ubu Cocu" takes place in lovely Purgatory. Among the events in Purgatory, a fat authority figure named Pa Ubu (Grayson Norris) decides to inhabit without warning or request for permission, the home of Achras (Miles Hindman). Achras is a scientist who has spent his entire life studying what he calls polyhedra. From this stems the hard to follow, yet strangely spun web of subplots.

Included in that web of subplots, Ma Ubu (Kiley M. Jones) is having an affair and Pa Ubu knows and wants the other fellow, someone named Memnon(Dean Mauel), dead. After consulting his conscience (played by Hilary Pursehouse), Pa Ubu decides that he wants to kill Mr. Achras by testing the implement of death which he plans to use on the aforementioned Memnon. Throw in the wickedly show-stealing Palcontents (John Chinworth, Addam Drake, Nadia Hagen and Kimberly Mooney), who are Pa Ubu's slave evil-doers, an unhappy jester (Tim Koch), a weeping shoe salesman (Aaron Stielstra), and a strange creature that no one can identify, and there is created life in Purgatory.

The entire cast of "Ubu Cocu" is delightful. Kudos to director Grayson Norris for making the play one of the more entertaining this year. Still, there are extra shining performances handed in by those wacky Palcontents and Hindman in the role of Achras. They are simply fun to watch.

The production of "Ubu Cocu" was one more element toward making this a brightly shimmering piece of theatre. The lighting and stage are done in gripping purples, blues and greens with matching makeup. This almost constantly dark makes the occasional white light and the shimmering foil-like streams that hang in various parts of the stage seem extremely bright, a creative and intelligent trick.

In short, "Ubu Cocu" will be enjoyed by the lover of the obnoxious. However, this warning must be put forth: "Ubu Cocu" is insane. Those that tend to dwell in reality should stay away. The plot can be terribly hard to follow, even to a point beyond annoyance. Yet, it ends up being rather unimportant and funny, losing itself in the rest of the absurdity.

Ubu Cocu runs Wednesday through Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. until Nov. 13th. For more information call a.k.a. Theatre at 623-7852.

Read Next Article