‘Arturo Ui Youn Qabiz Hua’ – A Brecht Play in Urdu


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Theatre Wallay, in collaboration with Heinrich-Boll Stiftung,  performed its latest production – Arturo Ui Youn Qabiz Hua – Urdu version of The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui.  The performances were held on 9th, 10th, and 11th November 2018 at the Farm – TW Studio. The play tells the story of a small-time gangster’s rise to power. Arturo Ui manipulates the broken, corrupt system of depression-hit USA to gain influence in Chicago. 

Written by the legendary German playwright, Bertolt Brecht, this play is a parable for Hitler’s rise to power, and is a powerful insight into the machinations of power, ambition, corruption and propaganda. 

The translation was done jointly by the TW team. Fizza Hasan wore the director’s cap. She writes about this play:

Why Arturo Ui? Because since time immemorial, the human race has
been succumbing to those who grab and wield power. And because since
forever they have been turning around afterwards, and saying, “It could
have been prevented; we could have stopped them.”
In the figure of a gangster from Chicago of the 1930’s we all recognize
someone, be it a monstrous historical personality or our local politician or
businessman. We have all grown up hearing the words “power corrupts”,
but perhaps it takes Brecht’s Ui to actually drive home the point.
Written as a parable play in 1940, “The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui” charts
the rise of a small time gangster who is representative of the rise of Hitler
and the Nazi party in pre-war Germany. The strength of the play, however,
lies less in its exploration of Hitler’s seizure of power, and more in its
reflection of how human beings react when confronted with the Arturo Uis
of this world.
Brecht’s play has a powerful message. It is a call to vigilance against
convenience and moral complacency. It may have been written for a
specific time in history, but it is for all time, as relevant today as it was

The Cast of Arturo Ui

Ammar Khalid as Aruturo Ui

Safeer Ullah Khan as old Dogsborough

Ahad Ali as Sheet, and Roma

Zainab Hasan as Young Dogsborough

Usama Ahmad Khan as Flake, and Defense Counsel 

Imran Iftikhar as Caruther, and Givola 

Ramil Aftab as Butcher, and the Prosecutor 

Adil Yousuf as Mulberry, and the Judge

Amir Ali as Clark 

Arsalan Jogezai as Ted Ragg (the reporter) 

Hafsa Munir as Dockdaisy, and O’ Casey, 

Hamza Athar as Girri

Mohammad Saqaf as Bowl, and Hook

Shajia Soomro as Maid, Vegetable Dealer, and Betty Dullfeet

Umer Farooq as Goodwill, the Actor, and Ignatius Dullfeet

Ali Naqi as the defendant Fish, 

Fizza Hasan as the Woman

Hishaam Muzaffar and Shehrol Ilyas as Bodyguards 

The Crew of Arturo Ui 

Mustafa Hasan – Sounds and Projections

Daniyal Kapadia – Lights Design

Ikram Ullah Khan – Lights and Photography

Arslan Barijo – Lights and Photography 

Shahzaib Wahla – Lights 

Annam Lodhi – Publicity 

Media Coverage

A Timely Spectacle published in The News on Sunday (Nov 25, 2018), by Nazir Mahdmood

Theater Review – Arturu Ui Youn Qabiz Hua by Theatre Wallay published in Youlin Magazine on Nov 16, 2018

Theater Play Unveiling Corrupt System Staged published in Urdu Point on Nov 9, 2018.