Arturo Ui is a small-time gangster with a lust for power. In a city shaken by economic crisis and undermined by corruption, Ui keeps rising and rising until he reaches the very top. When he gets there, he won’t be breaking the law, he’ll be making it.
With STC Artistic Director Kip Williams at the helm and Weaving in the title role – his first with STC since 2014’s Macbeth, the play examines the construction of power and authority while exploring the role that violence has in controlling the population.
“Hugo will bring psychological complexity, dark and daring humour, wit, insight and revelation to the role of Arturo Ui,” says Williams. And as we continue to witness the rise of the far right globally, Williams says it is a timely tale about a demagogue coming to power in a democratic state.
“The story looks at how greed and power corrupt and how easily democratic freedom can be taken away from us. This play challenges us to resist. It reveals the ways in which we might fail to do so. And it shows us the consequences of that failure.”
In a new adaption by Australian playwright Tom Wright, Williams will bring a contemporary, Australian political feel to this classic play, using a melding of live performance and live video to examine the ideas of performance in the political sphere.
“This play is very much about the performance of power and the theatre of politics. It deconstructs this theatre, to reveal its construction and the ways we are influence and manipulated by it,” says Williams.
Director: Kip Williams Featuring: Mitchell Butel, Peter Carroll, Tony Cogin, Ivan Donato, Anita Hegh, Brent Hill, Colin Moody, Monica Sayers, Hugo Weaving, Charles Wu, Ursula Yovich Set Designer: Robert Cousins Costume Designer: Marg Horwell Lighting Designer: Nick Schlieper Composer & Sound Designer: Stefan Gregory Cinematographer: Justine Kerrigan
The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui
Roslyn Packer Theatre, Hickson Road, Walsh Bay (Sydney)
Season: 27 March – 28 April 2018
Information and Bookings: www.sydneytheatre.com.au
Image: Hugo Weaving stars in The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui – photo by Rene Vaile