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Edinburgh Fringe 2010

The Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui

Braindead Theatre Company

Genre: Drama

Venue: C Central


Low Down

A darkly comic satire of the rise of gangster Arturo Ui.  Set in 1930s Chicago, Ui bribes, murders and seduces his way to the top.



Brecht’s ‘Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui’ was originally written in 1941 and chronicles the rise of fictional 1930’s Chicago mobster Arturo Ui.  In an evil and villainous rise to power, Ui takes advantage of economic turmoil to seize control of The Cauliflower Trust, ruthlessly disposing of the opposition.  The play is a satirical allegory of Adolf Hitler in Nazi Germany, with every scene being based on a real event and every character having a real life counterpart.

Braindead Theatre Company takes a fast, funny and physical approach as it condenses this story into a 60 minute rollercoaster ride of disturbing scenes and comic dance numbers, leading to its horribly inevitable conclusion.

Braindead Theatre Company utilise every corner of their space in this production, including the rafters where from behind an upright coffin posing as a podium, Artruro Ui delivers his terrifying speech at the height of his power.  The coffin is used throughout the production in a multitude of ways, and is moved swiftly and neatly from one area of the stage to another. 

The scene changes are covered by very entertaining and well-rehearsed cabaret dance routines, and in true Brechtian style the actors present title boards denoting the important points in the plot.






The company’s use of masks and half masks is successful, and without exception these fine young actors breathe tremendous life into all of the characters they inhabit.



There is some remarkable acting in this production and admirable focus from the company.  The choreography is accurate and well rehearsed, with the more violent moments smartly staged and meticulously directed, and true to the rest of the piece, the lighting for the piece is dramatic and finely tuned.

These young actors perform with incredible commitment, passion and precision.  They give you absolutely everything they’ve got – they are a credit to their profession.