How does meaning change in the Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui when you compare the original text with the 1972 BBC production.
Bertolt Brecht’s original play, ‘The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui’ is a didactic play which depicts the rise of both Ui and Hitler. Brecht uses many techniques such as black humour, underlying threat and the use of subtle allegories to convey serious messages to his audience. However in the BBC’s 1972 production of the play (directed by Jack Gold) these grave points are lost, with the attempt to entertain the audience replacing Brecht’s original intention to teach.
We see in addition to this that meaning is not only lost but changed, such as how we view the characters and the impact of their actions due to the variations in the Prologue. Through the loss of informative signs, and overstressed allegories between characters – rather than circumstances – the focal point of the play is also transformed. This results in the film focusing more on Hitler himself, rather than his rise and thus changes the meaning of the play. Technology does however enable Gold to emphasis certain Brechtian tactics in ways the theatre could never have done, adding to and appropriately emphasising this meaning.
Brecht consistently uses comedy throughout his play to make a darker point. However, Gold strays from this approach and instead heightens and adds comical elements in an attempt to amuse his audience further. One must remember that Brecht’s original play – even though an entertaining play – was essentially used as a didactic tool and that people chose wether or not they wished to come and view the performance. Gold’s adaptation of the play was made in 1972 and therefore targeted a very different audience – television viewers. It is for this reason that Gold has twisted (and even added to) Bretch’s wry, black humour into high comedy – in a bid to appease and amuse an audience of varying intelligence and age. Unfortunately, in doing so much of the...