Alastair Beaton's new adaptation of Brecht's witty and savage satire on the rise of Hitler which retells the dictator's ascent to power as the story of a small-time gangster's takeover of Chicago's greengrocery trade.
Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956) was a major dramatist of the twentieth century, and the founder of one of the most influential theatre companies, the Berliner Ensemble. He created of some of the landmark plays of the twentieth century: The Threepenny Opera, Life of Galileo, Mother Courage and her Children and The Caucasian Chalk Circle. George Tabori (1914-2007) was a Hungarian writer. His works for the stage included Mein Kampf, an adaptation of Hitler's book, reimagined as comedy; and Cannibals, a major hit in the late '60s and the first play to be set entirely in Auschwitz. He also worked as Bertolt Brecht's assistant and translator. Alistair Beaton's plays and translations include Feelgood, Caledonia, King of Hearts and Follow My Leader, Max Frisch's The Arsonists, and Brecht's Caucasian Chalk Circle. For television, he has written the award-winning A Very Social Secretary (2005) and the Channel 4 film The Trial of Tony Blair (2007).
The 1964 translation by George Tabori, souped up by Alistair Beaton, fizzes with verbal pep and clever couplets . . . there's never a dull minute . . . We are wooed by relentless spectacle and our enjoyment is integral to the play's chilling kick. * Daily Telegraph * Alistair Beaton's revised version of the text is pleasingly sparky ... The West End is a better place for such challenging, intelligent fare. * Standard * Alistair Beaton's shrewd tweaking of George Tabori's translation . . . * Guardian * Hitler's rise to power is parodied in Brecht's allegorical satire with the Fuhrer as scary as a tea cosy ... The American gangster movie meets Richard III * Gaurdian * ... comedian Alistair Beaton's revision of the translation by George Tabori keeps the sprightly blank verse of the original, with multiple Shakespearean and other literary echoes. * Sunday Times *