The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui

A musical parable by Bertolt Brecht
Adapted by Jennifer Wise (Faculty)

Arturo Ui  brilliantly traces Hitler’s rise to power by using the metaphor of 1930’s gangland Chicago.  Like Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator, Brecht’s timeless comedy insists that the only way to deal with tyrants is to laugh at them.

Arturo Ui, “reveals the political mechanics of Nazism with a clarity that remains startling to this day.”

– The Globe and Mail

Media Reviews

“This is a terribly ambitious project.  Twenty-one actors play 50-plus roles.  There is, occasionally, a tentative quality to their performances that will fade as the run progresses (you might want to catch one of the last ones).  TechnicallyThe Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui presents a huge challenge which on Thursday night was well met.  There are archival film clips of Nazis and slide projections, and set pieces are constantly being carted about.  Some lines are uttered by actors hanging upside down.  You’ve got to admire the chutzpah of this student cast and the UVic faculty.

– Adrian Chamberlain, Times Colonist

“Then again it doesn’t hurt to be surrounded by such a youthful and talented cast.  Mike Klemak turns in a driven performance as Ui, capturing the split personality of the charismatic leader, crippled by self doubt and paranoia.  His inner circle of thugs is portrayed by Jay HindleIan Lake, and notables are Monica PrendergastAnnette Dreeshen and Heming Hopkins.  Richmond, as always, coaxes uniformly even performances from all, no mean feat given the disparities of some of the younger performers.”

– Robert Mitchell, CBC Reviewer

“No question, there’s a lot here that works.  The cast is uniformly splendid, specifically Annette Dreeshen’s ‘Ragg’, Zachary Stevenson’s ‘Roma’ and David Ferry in a pair of juicy roles that lend themselves to some delicious overacting (Dogsborough, Mahoney).  And Mike Klemak pulls off the title role of Ui with a menacing power, dominating the stage whether he’s speaking or not.  Similarly, the production values are outstanding;  if any one thing is responsible for the success of this play, it’s Mary Kerr’s costume, make-up and set designs.  And Tim Matheson’s visual projections, while overused, add a haunting historical foreshadowing that can’t be understated.  Kudos too to both Yvonne Yip’s stage management and flawless handling of her crew, who silently moved the enormous sets with nary a missed spike.”

– John Threlfall, Monday Magazine

“The larger than life characterizations, complete with flamboyant stage makeup and 1930’s expressionist costumes, adds to the satirical nature of the play.  The stage is dynamic and impressive with constantly changing scenery and the effective use of video images projected on the set…The Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui is an entertaining evening of theatre with an energetic and enthusiastic cast of 21 singing, dancing and debating performers.”

– Johanna Ward, Nexus


Show Dates

November 14 – 30, 2002

Matinee – Saturday, November 30 at 2pm
Pre-Show Lecture – November 15 at 7pm

Cast & Creative

Director:  Brian Richmond
Set and Costume Designer:  Mary Kerr
Guest Lighting Designer:  Andrea Lundy
Guest Projection Designer:  Tim Matheson
Guest Arranger/Musical Director:  David Clenman
Movement Director:  K. Scott Malcolm
Choreographer:  Melissa Young
Dramaturge:  Tony Vickery
Stage Manager:  Yvonne Yip

Conductor/Keyboards/Harmonium:  David Clenman (Guest Artist)
Cello:  Didem Erken (Guest Artist)
Percussion:  Jackie McDonald (Guest Artist)
Clarinet:  Larry de la Haye (Guest Artist)

Cast:  Cameron AndersonMeg BraemAnnette DreeshenDavid FerryJay HindleTrevor HintonKatie HoodHeming HopkinsMike KlemakIan LakeTheodora LambPhillip LyallStephanie MorrisAl NewtonMonica Prendergast (Graduate Student), Kenneth RoseZachary StevensonKaren TaylorAllison WardColby Wilson and Melissa Young.