Film was critical in the propagandising of the Third Reich. In many ways, Ui assumes an audience with immense cultural capital. Parodies and pastiches abound. At a minimum, a working knowledge of both Shakespeare and Goethe are assumed.
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- The Disturbing Resonance of Bertolt Brecht’s “The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui”;
Nevertheless, this juxtaposition of cinema and stage is a dangerous balancing act. Often though, I simply wished that the screen had been used more judiciously and that the stage was not so frenetically busy with this constant double layering. The context of constant infrastructure projects and corruption is well rehearsed here.
Hugo Weaving plays the immensely demanding lead role of Arturo Ui. He begins the play as a dishevelled, jittery gangster prone to prancing in preparation for a boxing bout and transforms into a stentorian speaker with a well-practised air of regretful emptiness. The famous scene in which he learns public speaking and the choreography of authority from a down-and-out thespian played with glee by Mitchell Butel provides the audience with the key to this character transformation.
Weaving is supported by a fine cast of ten actors playing multiple roles.
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Peter Carroll is remarkable as the pusillanimous and sanctimonious Dogsborough. Inevitably, there has been quite a lot of commentary about the timing of this production.
The kinds of populist authoritarian politics that Brecht warned his audience about is currently on the rise, with the cleavage that divides liberals and conservatives growing ever deeper. The director, Kip Williams, rightly resisted portraying Arturo Ui as any particular political figure. In an era of alternative facts, this cinematically inclined production of Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui will win Brecht new fans with young audiences, encouraging them to see theatre as having an inherently political potential.
And that is exactly as Brecht would have wanted it. Rozanna Lilley is an author and academic with theatrical leanings. As a teenager, she attended a Stanislavskian drama school and performed on both stage and screen Journey Among Women, and The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith, She has published extensively in academic journals and books and is the author of Staging Hong Kong: Gender and Performance in Transition , University of Hawaii Press.
She has also published essays and poetry in numerous literary journals and newspapers, and has been included in the popular book series Best of Australian Essays and Best of Australian Poetry three times. Her most recent book, Do Oysters Get Bored? A Curious Life , UWA Publishing is a hybrid memoir about autism, family eccentricity and a life lived both in and out of the spotlight.
Your email address will not be published. Hear each team present their product and journey. Celebrate their success. Pick up tips to help kickstart your creative idea. The narrator opens it and introduces all the characters. What I liked about this play was, that although it was comical, witty and extremely entertaining it still educated us and helped us understand the mind of Arturo Ui and also Hitler. In all I feel that Arturo Ui was one of the most exceptional plays I have ever seen, I really captured the point and feeling to the message portrayed at the end.
Although like many plays the start was slow and difficult to understand it was all pieced together in the second half. The acting was brilliant, and most of all the directing helped it flow. An amazing performance.
About The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui
There were also some scenes which showed how some of the instances of corruption could also apply to the political system of this country, if no one were to challenge it. It also reinforces the necessity of people like you and me to take action against the oppressive forces of our world, rather than submitting to them and letting them gain so much power that they are unstoppable.
Several Brechtian techniques were used. I thought moving the sign to electronic format was a very novel idea, and one the Brecht would have approved of. The use of painted white faces was also well used in the distancing effect that it gave us with the characters, meaning that we learn more from the play, rather than becoming too emotionally attached to the characters. The acting was without fault. There were several actors who had to change roles several times, but that was well done, and the characters were clear enough that it was obvious to see that they were different people.
I thought that the lead roles were all really strong, particularly Ian Bartholomew in the title role as Ui, who I thought portrayed Ui effectively as a very dangerous clown. One small criticism of the set was that sometimes blackouts and set changes took too long and left the audience wanting the play to move on quicker. However I can equally see that this would be impractical, due to the size of the set.
The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui
I admired the modern, minimalist look of the set, and thought that the projections onto the back wall were also very effective. He does this by using acting methods like narrative passages and over the top characterisation. He also does this by using a very defined method, where he puts something serious into a comedic style. So what he does is gets one of the characters to stand on his head for a short amount of time and some of the characters are wearing black masks.
He is trying to make you think about things and do something about the situation the world is in.
Arturo Ui ends with the words which really will affect the audience and make them want to go out and change the world. Auturo Ui has to be one of the best plays that I have seen, if not the best. The play consists of 2 hours of thought provoking images, which were balanced by lots of dark humour and crazy movements. He was excellently matched by Leanne Best, who multi-roled as all of the female characters, grasping your attention from the very beginning.
This meant that the scenes between her and Bartholomew were the most compelling to watch. The scrolling captions helped those with little knowledge of the history of the piece to follow it with ease. As a supernumerary, the spectacle is all that more realistic. Ian Bartholomew gives possibly one of the best performances I have ever seen live. Throughout the play he grows into the character, mastering his mannerisms.
The detail that he has gone into is incredible, even his make- up makes him look like Hitler! Furthermore, the director cleverly uses make up to show that they are all actors and to make them stand out!
The set is once again a triumph from Nottingham playhouse! Really stunning set used for many different scenarios; garages and podiums, making the spectacle so much more realistic! After watching this performance I realised how well written and well performed it was.
During the performance the characters that the actors worked on shone through and they did it amazingly. The way they used the simple set to get something across was amazing, for example on the flower shop scene where they had the hearts of flowers lowered made it set look something without it being too much.