Third Wall Theatre to present Exit The King
All good things must come to an end.
Third Wall Theatre’s 10th season has certainly been one of those good things thus far, with well-received and critically acclaimed productions of Blackbird and Antigone. It will bid farewell to this banner year with a production of Eugene Ionesco’s Exit The King. This 1962 absurdist comedy is, appropriately enough, about mortality: a King forced to confront the erosion of his kingdom and imminent end of his life, surrounded by the last vestiges of his royal court, tumbles through a dark farce to its (and his) inevitable conclusion. Ionesco’s script (of which we received a taste at the Company’s first reading) tackles the human condition in both a social and individual context through the lens of humour, taking aim at the one truly common denominator of all humanity.
The cast of this production is drawn once again from Third Wall’s first resident acting company, with Andy Massingham (The Shadow Cutter) as King Berenger, Mary Ellis (Director, Blackbird) as Queen Marguerite, Richard Gelinas (Antigone) as the Doctor, Katie Bunting (Hamlet 2011) as Queen Marie, Simon Bradshaw (Antigone) as the Guard, and Kat Smiley as the Nurse. Ionesco’s surreal world will be brought vividly to life by Sarah Waghorn’s set and costume design, lighting design by Rebecca Miller, and makeup design by Annie Lefebvre.
Of his reasons for presenting this piece as the final production of the season, Director James Richardson says, “I chose it because it is a hilarious play that deals with incredibly difficult subject matter, and it’s something that as humans, we all share: the fear of death, we all share this inability to deal with death and really deal with it in a practical way. Ionesco captures that and captures it in an hilarious way and it’s one of his least-known plays. I only found out about it because of its recent revival on Broadway with Geoffrey Rush. That’s what tweaked me to it. I’m a huge Ionesco fan, and I didn’t really know about it.”
With a wry smile, he adds, “And I needed a comedy for the season.”
Exit The King opens on Wednesday, June 1st in the Studio at the Irving Greenberg Theatre Centre and runs until June 10th, with performances at 7:30 pm Tuesday through Friday, 3:00 pm and 8:00 pm Saturdays, and 3:00 pm Sundays. Tickets are available from Third Wall at 613 236 1425 or the IGTC box office.