Rehearsals are underway for a spectacle of gigantic proportions in Cataract Gorge for Mona Foma.
King Ubu involves three-metre tall puppets, a cast of 80 plus crew, and community groups including Launceston College, Allstar Cheer and Dance Tasmania, City of Launceston RSL Band, Encore Theatre Company, and the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre Youth.
The Punch and Judy-style slapstick satire is a modern, Tasmanian-set take on a classic 19th-century French play, festival director Brian Ritchie said.
"Alfred Jarry's Ubu plays have had a major influence on theatre, art and fashion ever since they were first written and performed in 1896," he said.
"They shock or delight every audience member who encounters them.
"They have rarely been staged in Australia, however. It is no exaggeration to say this radical reimagining of King Ubu in iconic Cataract Gorge will be a once in a lifetime experience."
King Ubu tells the tale of raging buffoon and would-be dictators, Pa and Ma Ubu, who kill the royal family of Tasmania in order to take the throne. Willing to sacrifice anybody to accomplish their ends, the Ubus ultimately shows their true colours when forced to do battle with the surviving Tasmanian prince.
Director Sam Routledge said the show had jokes for adults and children, and was designed to be a family experience.
WHAT: King Ubu
WHERE: Cataract Gorge
WHEN: Wednesday, January 15 to Friday, January 17, entry from 7pm for an 8pm start
HOW MUCH: Free