Peter Sturm's production starts every scene with the next round being announced as if at a boxing match, which serves to remind us of the fight we're supposedly watching while contrasting with what actually happens: It's never apparent what the game consists of, what rules, if any, it has, let alone who's winning at any given time.
Brecht's grubby Chicago of doxies, drink and dodgy deals is constructed out of a number of stark images - Mia Austen as Garga's lover lipsticking "slut" on her face before he arrives wearing a tatty house-dress and lacy panties. It means it's never dull, but Brecht's wilfully impenetrable philosophising does make it a frustrating experience.
In the Jungle of Cities by Bertolt Brecht in a translation by Gerhard Nellhaus is booking until the 5th of October at Arcola Studio 1.
Running time: 2 hours 20 minutes including interval.