When Kip Williams was appointed Artistic Director of Sydney Theatre Company, one of the first plays he and Hugo Weaving discussed was Bertolt Brecht’s The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui. Both were fascinated by it and though Weaving admits he had never envisaged himself in the title role, they agreed he would take it on with Williams directing.

“It’s funny because we had both been thinking about it,” says Weaving. “I guess it’s always been in my mind ever since I saw it when I was about 19 or 20 and thought ‘what an incredible play – an extraordinary piece of work that could be done in so many different ways’. I’ve seen a number of productions of it over the years. I was lucky enough to see the Berliner Ensemble production [directed by Heiner Müller, which has run in repertoire since 1995] with this wonderful actor, Martin Wuttke, playing Ui. When I came home Kip asked what I’d seen and I listed the plays and said that was the highlight, just the performance of it really.”

Hugo Weaving, Sydney Theatre Company, Arturo Ui Hugo Weaving in Sydney Theatre Company’s The Resistible Rise of...

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