Wednesday, 30 October 2013
'The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui' Duchess Theatre ****
Bertolt Brecht's work has not been seen in the West End for some time now so the decision to stage his 1941 play 'The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui' is a bold one. The play is about a man, Arturo Ui's rise to power. The story line is a satirical allegory to the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party. I found the narrative to be clear and concise throughout the entire performance. The performances by the company were very convincing and brilliantly delivered during the proceedings. I thought that Henry Goodman's portrayal of the lead character Arturo Ui was exceptionally conveyed as he shows a mans desire to become the leader of a cauliflower rack as the only way to make his life seem worth it. Michael Feast's performance as Ui's rival Ernesto Roma was superb as he understands the deceptive nature of the business that both the men are in and the power and persuasion that Ui has over the people. Jonathan Church's direction is marvelous as he brings the political context entwined with the humorous dialogue onto the Duchess Theatre's stage to a array of different age groups. No wonder this production was a hit at the Chichester Festival Theatre this year. The productions designer Simon Higlett has crafted a gangsters scenario to a brilliant standard of finish and it seems that a lot of time had been taken to ensure a polished design. In addition the attention to detail was amazing here. However in terms of the production as a whole I feel that three hours of Epic Theatre is far too long so some scenes could have been edited to ensure that the audience can engage with the context fully and intently. On the other hand I think that the the performance does make you think about who in the government you can fully beleive in and the manipulation they have to ensure votes. I have to comment of the fight work by Terry King as he seems to have worked with the company to establish belivable confrontations which enhances the professional quality. On the whole a very good production.
Posted by Kieran (The Dramatic) Knowles at 21:27