Reviewed by Paula Citron
August 22, 2011
Exit The King
Written by Eugène Ionesco (translated by Neil Armfield and Geofrey Rush)
Directed by Albert Schultz
Performed by Oliver Dennis, Brenda Robins, Karen Rae, Derek Boyes, Trish Lindström and William Webster
Opened Aug. 6, 11, and continues in repertory
With the fine production of Eugène Ionesco’s Exit The King, Soulpepper returns to its original mandate of theatre rarities.
They should never have left it because there are some things that Soulpepper does badly, especially when they try to compete with Stratford and Shaw. Exit The King, however, is one of their glory productions.
Ionesco, Romanian-born but a citizen of France, was a prominent member of Theatre of the Absurd. His non-reality approach, in either theme or language, or both, was designed to highlight the follies of the human condition.
In the case of Exit The King, the theme is death, and more specifically, the king’s fight against the inevitable.
Director Albert Schultz and his excellent cast have pulled off a difficult play, not only in making sense of the absurdities, but in bringing out the intense poignancy.
The beautiful ending between Oliver Dennis as the king, and Brenda Robins as the queen, touches the heart.
Exit The King continues at the Young Centre.