Theater Review: 'Exit the King'

By HELEN KAYE
June 22, 2013 23:52

A play by Eugene Ionesco; translated by Dori Parnes; directed by Rina Yerushalmi Ensemble Itim, June 13

1 minute read.



DORON TAVORI (left) and Noam Ben- Azar in ‘Enter the King.’

Exit the King theater 370. (photo credit: Gadi Dagon)

We are born. We live. We die.

And that’s that! What matters to us as human beings, or what should matter, is what we do with the bit between birth and death. Theater of the Absurd, a genre that exploded after the chaos and destruction of World War II, said that because there are no certainties, because we don’t really live our lives, those lives are absurd. Human existence is absurd, and what Theater of the Absurd tried to do was confront those absurdities.

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Human life is a jumble declares the start of Yerushalmi’s Exit the King which has all the set's components stacked higgledy-piggledy center stage. The cast then moves them to their appointed places. Also present is the bisected horse from Itim’s Romeo and Juliet. Life may be ridiculous, but it continues.

Exit the King deals with the impending death of King Berenger I (Doron Tavori) and his efforts to avoid the inevitable end, the same Berenger we first met in Rhinoceros, now elevated to monarch. Here he wears high-waisted white pants and a long beige coat with a train that makes an effective shroud. For all of his 400 year reign Berenger has sown death and destruction so that now his once mighty kingdom is a potholed kernel with 45 inhabitants.

Elegantly clad in black satin – Yehudit Aharon’s costumes are original and apt – Queen Dowager Marguerite (Razia Israeli) is unsentimentally the voice of grim reality. Fragile in layers of grey/brown chiffon, young and beautiful Queen Marie (Natalie Berman) projects hope and love. The Royal Physician (Noam Ben-Azar) smoothly dispenses placebos and platitudes while the Maid (the excellent Yarden Gilboa) runs errands and the Soldier (Avi Golomb), looking like a green-clad hotel page, provides commentary through a loud-hailer.

Unhappily the production plods where it should skitter between idea and idea on life’s various idiocies. Even the luminous, mischievous Doron Tavori cannot lift it.


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