William Kentridge & Handspring Puppet Company / ONASSIS CULTURAL CENTRE

William Kentridge & Handspring Puppet Company

Ubu and the Truth Commission

17 - 21 December 2014
Main Stage
90 minutes (no intermission)
Age guidance 14+
The theatre of the absurd, puppet theatre, dance, song and animation come together in a ground-breaking multimedia spectacle.
15 – 18 – 28 €
Concs 10 – 12 – 15 €
Unemployed 5 €
After the triumph of Refuse the Hour, the great South African director and visual artists, William Kentridge, returns with his masterpiece, Ubu and the Truth Commission, a new version of the historic 1997 production, co-produced by the OCC in association with the internationally celebrated Handspring Puppet Company. This spectacle of unrivalled skill and peerless aesthetics is simultaneously a political act of memory and reflection. 

Actors, puppets and puppeteers, projections of archive footage, recordings of eye-witness accounts and, of course, Kentridge's own uniquely 'primitive' animation share the stage in this imaginative, humanistic happening: a total work of art which tackles Apartheid and racism, collective trauma, historical memory and reconciliation. 
The work that sowed the seed for Dada, surrealism and the Theatre of the Absurd, Alfred Jarry’s King Ubu (1896), is the starting point. It's just that here, the greedy 19th-century anti-hero is beamed down into the South Africa of the 1990s in the form of a fallen oppressor. Guilty of terrible crimes during the Apartheid period, this South African Ubu finds himself facing justice—in this case, the questions of the Truth and Reconciliation Committee formed by Nelson Mandela. And as Ubu waits, hoping for an amnesty, he ploughs the field like a court jester, singing and dancing in the shadow of his wife, a possessive Big Mama Africa, accompanied by a retinue of marionettes, emblems of his autarchic nature: the mythic three-headed Cerberus, guardian of Hades, and a crocodile who devours any documentary evidence that must not see the light of day.


Director: William Kentridge
Associate Director: Janni Younge
Writer: Jane Taylor
Puppet Designer: Adrian Kohler
Assitant Puppet Maker: Tau Qwelane
Animation: William Kentridge
Assistant Animators: Tau Qwelane, Suzie Gable
Set Design: Adrian Kohler, William Kentridge
Costume Design: Adrian Kohler
Costume Makers: Phyllis Midlane, Sue Steele
Lighting Design: Wesley France
Sound Design: Wilbert Schubel
Music: Warrick Sony and Brendan Jury
Choreography: Robyn Orlin
Animation Editor: Catherine Meyburgh
TRC Research: Antjie Krog
Film and Video Research: Gail Berhmann

Pa Ubu: Dawid Minnaar
Ma Ubu: Busi Zokufa
Puppeteers: Gabriel Marchand, Mandiseli Maseti and Mongi Mthombeni

Stage Manager: Jessica Mias-Jones
Sound Technician: Simon Mahoney
Tour Manager: Wesley France

Translation (Greek surtitles): Vassilis Kimoulis

Production: Handspring Puppet Company
Associate producer: Quaternaire
Co-Production: Edinburgh International Festival (United Kingdom), The Taipei Arts Festival and Taipei Culture Foundation (Taiwan), Festival de Marseille _ danse et arts multiples (France), Onassis Cultural Centre (Greece), Cal Performances Berkeley (USA), BOZAR Brussels (Belgium). 
Supported by National Arts Festival, South Africa

Handspring Puppet Company is represented worldwide by Quaternaire / Sarah Ford.


18 Dec 2014


After performance talk with William Kentridge & Handspring Puppet Company

20 Dec 2014



Workshop with Handspring Puppet Company

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