It chronicles the rise of Arturo Ui, a fictional s Chicago mobster , and his attempts to control the cauliflower racket by ruthlessly disposing of the opposition. Fearing persecution and blacklisted from publication and production, Brecht — who in his poetry referred to Adolf Hitler as der Anstreicher "the housepainter"  — left Germany in February , shortly after the appointment of Hitler as Chancellor by President Paul von Hindenburg on the instigation of former Chancellor Franz von Papen. While there, c. The result was a story about "Giacomo Ui", a machine politician in Padua , a work which Brecht never completed.
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Qty :. Described by Brecht as 'a gangster play that would recall certain events familiar to us all', The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui is a witty and savage satire of the rise of Hitler — recast by Brecht into a small-time Chicago gangster's takeover of the city's greengrocery trade. Using a wide range of parody and pastiche — from Al Capone to Shakespeare's Richard III and Goethe's Faust — Brecht's compelling parable continues to have relevance wherever totalitarianism appears today.
Written during the Second World War in , the play was one of the Berliner Ensemble's most outstanding box-office successes in , and has continued to attract a succession of major actors, including Leonard Rossiter, Christopher Plummer, Antony Sher and Al Pacino. This version, originally translated by George Tabori, has been revised by leading Scottish playwright Alistair Beaton. We are wooed by relentless spectacle and our enjoyment is integral to the play's chilling kick. The West End is a better place for such challenging, intelligent fare.
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The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui
The play, which Brecht wrote as a refugee in Finland, in early , describes the rise of Hitler through the parable of a gangster in Chicago during the Great Depression. Brecht had fled Germany in , the day after the Reichstag fire. Doyle designed the austere set, which features an imposing chain-link fence that severs the back of the theatre from the bare stretch of fluorescent-lit stage where most of the action takes place; a door, connecting the two spaces, clangs disconcertingly each time an actor passes through. Soon, however, Ui learns that Dogsborough Christopher Gurr , an aging politician—a surrogate for Paul von Hindenburg, the ill-fated President of the Weimar Republic—has taken a bribe from the Cauliflower Trust.
The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (Student Editions)