The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (tr. Bolt)

Full-Length Play, Satire/Political Satire  /  2w, 28m

A grimly humourous 'parable play' in blank verse, in which Hitler's rise to power is illustrated in the story of a small-time gangster's take-over of the greengrocery trade in Chicago. A brief six-line Epilogue points out how nearly Hitler ruled the world.

The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (tr. Bolt)

  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
    2w, 28m
  • Audience
    Target Audience


Arturo Ui is a small-time gangster down on his luck. With the economy depressed and a lack of action within the town, his name has been notably absent from the press. However, he soon comes across incriminating information about the hitherto uncorrupted politician Dogsborough, who has succumbed to temptation and become involved in some dodgy negotiations with the Cauliflower Trust. Ui sees his opportunity. He threatens to expose Dogsborough unless the politician supports him, drawing the old man and the Cauliflower Trust into his violent and controlling world. Ui’s gang are a corrupt protection racket, through which Ui ascends in power and authority. Ui undergoes training to become a convincing politician and his strength lies in his oratory skills and a forceful persona. He is willing to do anything to secure the control he desires. As Ui’s greed and lust for power grow, his means for achieving his goal become more and more brutal. He is so successful in Chicago that he sets his sights higher, looking to expand into the nearby city of Cicero.
  • Time Period 1930s

Licensing & Materials

  • Minimum Fee: £70 per performance plus VAT when applicable.


Bertolt Brecht

Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956), playwright, poet and director, was born in Augsburg, Germany in February 1898. He established himself as a playwright during the 1920s and early 1930s with plays such as Baal, Man is Man, The Threepenny Opera and The Mother. In 1933, as Hitler came ...
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Ranjit Bolt

Ranjit Bolt is one of Britain's leading translators for the stage. His translations have been produced by the National Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company and Sir Peter Hall, and by leading repertory theatres in the US. His work covers an enormous variety of classic plays, ...
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