The play is a satirical allegory of Adolf Hitler in Nazi Germany. Chicago in the 1930s, the Great Depression - a time of unemployment, fear and corruption, and the perfect time for a small-fry crime boss and his henchmen to make it big, to seize a greater power, an absolute power. Arturo Ui and his mob of gangsters run protection rackets for both workers and businesses. Soon Ui's menacing shadow looms large, from the markets, to the docks and across the city itself. You might be with him, you might be against him - it certainly seems you can't stop him.