A world where monsters are made of money, democracy is a myth, and the justice system lies in a coma, acclaimed Director Phil Rouse returns to Theatre Works to present a contemporary take on Bertolt Brecht’s searing allegory, The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui.
Bertolt Brecht’s satire is a mash-up of American gangster movies and Richard III, offering a savage and darkly funny fable on Adolf Hitler’s rise to power through the grimy lens of 1930’s Chicago. Arturo Ui and his gang of thugs in The Cauliflower Trust use corruption, extortion, intimidation and violence to take over the vegetable trade.
With his version, Phil Rouse transposes the setting to a Brechtian 2016 Presidential Election, reflecting a contemporary world of Trump, Clinton, Bernie, Brexit, Super PACs and the renewed rise of the far right, honouring the classic text while illuminating the state of conservative politics in the 21st Century. “The world of Arturo Ui will be a heightened version of a recognisably American landscape filtered through a 24 hour news cycle,” said Rouse.
Phil Rouse has quickly picked up a reputation as one of Australia’s directors to watch, earning widespread critical praise for his productions at the helm of independent theatre company Don’t Look Away – founded in 2013 with the purpose of digging out the forgotten gems of Australian theatre to present to new audiences.
Previous productions have included The Legend of King O’Malley, A Property of The Clan and The Great God Mogadon. In 2015 Rouse worked with Theatre Works to mount a production of The Rivers of China. Most recently, his production of Louis Nowra’s Inner Voices at Sydney’s Old Fitz Theatre has been a huge hit with critics and audiences alike. The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui is a continuation of Rouse’s interest in power, violence and governance.
Director: Phil Rouse Featuring: George Banders, Ben Clements, Jennifer Innes, Kasia Kaczmarek, Josiah Lulham, Kym Lynch, Tariro Mavondo, Luke Mulquiney, Peter Paltos Set and Costume Designer: Martelle Hunt Associate Set Designer: Shane Thompson Lighting Designers: Rob Sowinski, Bryn Cullen Sound Designer: Jess Keeffe Production Manager: Elizabeth Howells Stage Manager: Lachlan O’Connor Assistant Stage Managers: Katharine Timms, Taylen Furness Producer: Eric Gardiner
The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui
Theatre Works, Acland Street, St. Kilda
Season: 27 August – 10 September 2016 (previews: 25 & 26 August)
Information and Bookings: www.theatreworks.org.au
Image: The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (supplied)