The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui
by Bertolt Brecht

Queens' College sports hall, Cambridge,
9 13 November 1999

Awarded a Commendation by the 45th Sunday Times
National Student Drama Festival for 'Style And Ensemble Playing'

Cast List

Arturo Ui Christian Coulson
Sheet / Emanuele Giri Toby Fisher
Clark / Prosecutor / Inna / Bodyguard William Gregory
Butcher / Ragg of the Star / Gunman / Vegetable dealer Liam Hetherington
Mulberry / Defence / Vegetable dealer Tamsin Hewett
Flake / Bowl / Gangster / Vegetable dealer / Reporter Clare Dwyer Hogg
Caruther / Young Dogsborough / Gangster / Vegetable dealer Edward Jaspers
The Announcer / The Actor / The Judge / Ciceronian / Designer Tessa Nicholson
Butler / Little man / Hook / Ciceronian Daniel O'Neill
Betty Dullfeet / Goodwill / Stenographer Alice Patten
Giuseppe Givola / Gangster / Reporter Ben Silverstone
Dogsborough / Gangster / Reporter Dan Smith
Ignatius Dullfeet / Gaffles / Fish Tom Smith
Ernesto Roma Edward Weeks
O'Casey / Dockdaisy Sophie Winkleman

Adapted and directed by Phillip Breen
Designed by Anna Dempster
Assistant Technical Director Steve Arch
Producer / Publicity / Stage Manager Pete Le May
Costume / Make-up Designer Prav Menon-Johansson
Lighting Designer Jon Pendergast
Executive Producer Rebecca Shackelford
Music / Sound Designer Pierre Shlimon
Technical Director Pete Taphouse

Selected Review Highlights

by Tom Armitage


What we might normally expect from good theatre and what Brecht often delivers are not one and the same thing. His brand of moralising politics usually runs contrary to our need for entertainment but in this brave new production a satisfying synthesis between the political meat and the comedy veg is achieved.

Set amidst the economic turmoil of gangster controlled Chicago in the 1930s the play is a direct and thinly veiled attack on German apathy toward Hitler's rise to power and a warning to future generations. In this production, director Phillip Breen successfully strikes a balance between the ominous overtones of the Hitlerian episodes and Chaplin-like caricatures and comic moments of Brecht's grand style.

In keeping with Brecht's ideas about didactic theatre and its need to alienate in order to educate, the play begins outside the auditorium while the actors wait inside to assume their roles. Using Queens' Fitzpatrick Hall innovatively, with an in the round stage, galleries and a podium on the on the raised stage for Ui's spectacular final speech, the Breen team pull off a another impressive and professional production. Certain scenes were terrific the corruption of the law courts represented by a revolving set where where each generation brought the Judge and the mob closer together, and a gangster killing in a darkened garage stand out. Performances were universally excellent true to the Brechtian ideal of the collective, no-one could possibly be singled out for particular praise or criticism. However it has to be said that Christian Coulson's eerily Tony Blair-esque delivery delivery of Ui's mannerisms and speech added an unexpected contemporary resonance to a conniving, fascist dictator and his political harem.

To call this an excellent student production would not do it justice. This was simply excellent theatre; utterly absorbing and consummately professional. 


Christian Coulson. Photo by Pete Le May
Christian Coulson. Photo Pete Le May
Edward Jaspers. Photo by Pete Le May.
Edward Jaspers. Photo Pete Le May

Edward Jaspers, Clare Dwyer Hogg, William Gregory, Liam Hetherington. Photo by Pete Le May
Edward Jaspers, Clare Dwyer Hogg, William Gregory, Liam Hetherington. Photo Pete Le May

Ben Silverstone. Photo by Pete Le May
Ben Silverstone. Photo Pete Le May

Tessa Nicholson. Photo by Pete Le May
Tessa Nicholson. Photo Pete Le May

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