Exit the King

Bonjour CityGaragistes,

We are excited to continue our “City Garage Classics” series this weekend with a production from 2019 “Exit the King” by Eugene Ionesco, translated by Frederique Michel and Charles Duncombe. Here is information from the original press release about it:

“A deluded king. A failing kingdom. Two squabbling queens vying for his attention. An obsequious doctor. A dim-witted but loyal guard and a mouthy servant. In Eugene Ionesco’s darkly comic masterpiece we witness the final hours of megalomaniac King Berenger the First. His monstrous ego has kept him alive for four centuries, but now, Queen Marguerite calmly informs him, the time has come to die. Berenger fights tooth and nail. He rages, pleads, denies, bargains, supported by the lovely and loyal Queen Marie. But Queen Marguerite, coolly efficient, aided by her henchman, the doctor, draws the king relentlessly closer to his final moment on earth. At once broadly comic and deeply unsettling, the play alternates between Monty Python-style slapstick and haunting echoes of Shakespearean tragedy. In this, the most Beckett-like of all Ionesco’s work, we follow an existential journey into the most terrifying landscape of all: our own mortality. In a new translation by City Garage founders Frederique Michel and Charles Duncombe.”

And here is what the critics had to say:

“A once powerful, now collapsing civilization in the grip of a deranged megalomaniac? Obviously, it’s a scenario so implausible today, so far beyond the imaginative capacity of contemporary American audiences that we must treat it as a historical curiosity rather than, say, an urgent and eerily relevant warning….Dunn is not only beautifully cast, with his aristocratic bearing and a gleam of madness in his eyes, but he displays an impressive emotional range. A remarkably natural performer, he really takes a journey here. The image of his horrified face, spotlighted by Duncombe in the phantasmagoric final tableau, kept my soul chilled all the way to the beach.”

Los Angeles Times

“City Garage impressively pulls off a metaphysical play without any special effects other than Michel’s staging. Her direction is simple yet stylized, with a sprinkling of heightened movement and gesture. And while Exit the King’s technical design is minimal throughout the show, its final image is arresting and haunting thanks to Duncombe’s lighting.”

Stage Raw

It will be showing on our City Garage YouTube channel from 8:00pm this Friday, September 18, through midnight on Wednesday, September 23rd

It’s free to view but we ask people to make a donation if they can through our Chuffed page:


Merci and enjoy! Stay safe (and wear a mask)


(Left to right): Natasha St. Clair Johnson, Troy Dunn; photo: Paul Rubenstein
Left to right) Troy Dunn, Natasha St. Clair Johnson; photo: Paul Rubenstein