Henry Goodman 'electrifying' in The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui
West End transfer of Brecht's Hitler satire is an evening of dark wit and creepy thrills
What you need to know
A revival of Bertolt Brecht's The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui has opened at the Duchess Theatre, West End. The production, directed by Jonathan Church, had a successful run at the Chichester Festival Theatre in 2012.
Brecht's Arturo Ui, a satire on the rise of Hitler, was written in 1941 but not performed in his lifetime. Set in Depression-era Chicago it follows the evolution of a small-time gangster and his sidekicks as they make a bid to seize a more and more power.
Henry Goodman stars as Arturo Ui. Runs until 7 December.
What the critics like
Goodman delivers an electrifying performance in the title role of Jonathan Church's "swaggeringly confident production", says Charles Spencer in the Daily Telegraph. This is a show you really should see - an evening of dark wit and creepy thrills.
Church's splendid production is "savagely funny", says Paul Taylor in The Independent. It features a tour de force of wild-eyed demonic intensity from Goodman who brilliantly charts the evolution of an absurd upstart into a blood-freezing demagogue.
"Goodman is a knockout as Arturo Ui," says Lyn Gardner in The Guardian. He never falters as he channels Charlie Chaplin and Richard III and the evening is at its glittering best when he sets about turning himself into a legend.
What they don't like
The satire is slow and this translation lasts almost three hours, says Dominic Maxwell in The Times. While it's always clear you're watching a great star turn by Goodman, it takes longer to find out what a strange, powerful and rewarding evening this ends up being. ·