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The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui
by Bertolt Brecht

Citizens Theatre, Glasgow
26 November
20 December 2003 

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Cast List

Arturo Ui Steven Ventura
Ernesto Roma Stewart Porter
Giuseppe Givola Billy Mack
Emmanuel Giri Andrew Langtree
Betty Dullfeet Vivien Parry
Clark William Gregory

All other parts played by members of the company and audience.


Adapted and directed by Phillip Breen
Designed by Mark Bailey
Lighting designed by Jon Pendergast

 



Selected Reviews


Glasgow Herald
by Neil Cooper

It is interesting that just as 'political' theatre appears to have foundered in these parts up pops Phillip Breen's studio bound production of Bertolt Brecht's mob handed satire on the rise of Hitler. With a mere six actors playing the entire population of Chicago its studied apparel may take on the poor theatre appearance of 1970s benefit gigs, but it comes on like a slick cartoon noir somewhere between Citizen Kane and The Rat Pack's Robin Hood and the Seven Hoods.

Applied to today's empire building non-entities without mandate, this is part Julius Caesar, part Yes Minister before its time. Particularly when the false optimism of anthems so beloved by the politically impotent and morally bankrupt is expressed via a now tragically ironic busk through Things Can Only Get Better.


Steven Ventura makes a fine tight lipped and troubled Ui in a production of bright eyed irreverence. This runs rings round the standard set of Brecht cliches with Stewart Porter, Billy Mack, and Andrew Langtree swaggering with pasty faced malevolence in their vaulting ambition and dirty tricks.



The Scotsman
by Joyce McMillan

So this is the way the old regime at the Citizens Theatre finally ends; not with a whimper but a roar of defiance and a rush toward the future. This final round of productions sits best with the achievement of Prowse, McDonald and Havergal's 33 years. Briliant, business like, clever, intensely theatrical and designed to emphasise the role the two studio spaces have have played as a forging ground for new talent.

In the tiny stalls studio Prowse signs off by handing the stalls studio over to brilliant young director Phillip Breen, winner of last years Channel 4 director's award, for a brilliantly staged adaptation of Bertolt Brecht's 1941 classic,
The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui.

At a technical level Breen's razor sharp staging of the play for only six actors, with a set by Mark Bailey a bare set lit like a working man's meeting hall is impossible to fault, being swift, ingenious, tightly focussed and impassioned. There are brilliant performances from Stewart Porter as Ui's betrayed friend Roma and from the wonderful Vivien Parry as the grieving widow of neighbouring press magnate Dullfeet and from Stephen Ventura as Ui himself.



The List
by Mark Brown

Staging Brecht's 'epic theatre' in a small drama studio is no small task. However Phillip Breen's exceptional presentation of this enduring anti-fascist allegory is an object lesson in how to make more drama from less space.
 

Highly stylised and brilliantly bold, Breen's production is intelligently attuned to Brecht's aesthetic from the very outset.



The Sunday Times



The Sunday Herald




 Photo: Richard Campbell
 

 Photo: Richard Campbell


 Photo: Richard Campbell


 Photo: Richard Campbell


Photo: Richard Campbell
 

 Photo: Richard Campbell
 

 Photo: Richard Campbell
 

 Photo: Richard Campbell
 

 Photo: Richard Campbell
 

 Photo: Richard Campbell
 

 Photo: Richard Campbell
 

 Photo: Richard Campbell


 

 

 
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