The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (Sydney Theatre Company) ★★★

Reviewed by
ABR Arts

The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (Sydney Theatre Company) ★★★

Reviewed by
ABR Arts

The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui was the final play written in the extraordinarily prolific period of Bertolt Brecht’s Scandinavian exile (1933–41), a period that, among other works, produced the first version of Galileo, The Good Person of Szechwan, Mother Courage, and Herr Puntila and His Man Matti.

Ui was tossed off in a matter of three weeks in Finland as the Nazis conquered Europe and Brecht desperately awaited his US visa. It was a darkly satirical portrayal of the rise of Hitler couched in a form that Brecht hoped would make it accessible to an American audience. Correctly viewing the Nazis as successful thugs, he transposed the story of their rise to gangster-ridden Chicago and deliberately downplayed the Nazi attempt to conquer Europe into an attempt to control the Chicago vegetable market.

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