1933: Eine Nacht Im Kabarett @ Summerhall

Review by Eric Karoulla | 27 Jan 2014
  • 1933: Eine Nacht Im Kabarett @ Summerhall

Co-produced by Tightlaced Theatre and Sporadic Music, under the direction of Susanna Mulvihill, 1933: Eine Nacht Im Kabarett travels back to Berlin on the day Hitler was made Chancellor of Germany – January 30, 1933.

Anke's is the place to be if you do not fit in with society's norms. As the song says, the good and great of society will not be seen here. With her son Dieter (William Mitchell) joining Hitler's 'brownshirts' and daughter Marieke (Hazel DuBourdieu) wanting to perform, Anke (Danielle Farrow) is struggling to keep it together when Captain Voehner (Andy Corelli) – member of the National Socialist party – walks into her cabaret. As if this isn't enough, Simone (Bev Wright), the compere for the evening, seems hellbent on making fun of the new Chancellor.

Over a period of two hours, this entertaining and intelligent play explores the situation that allowed Hitler to rise to power. While there is no direct reference to modern day events, the parallels are clear. There is a constant mention of young people, their place in society and productivity, and how they lack – and hence require – direction. One of the songs about choosing red, white or black, reflects this need for something to cling to. It also, at the same time, seems to allude to the nature of consumerism and politics, promising that one thing will be better than the previous one.

Although a great deal of fun is had (after all, it's not every day you hear songs with the chorus 'Everyone wants to be a Nazi') this is not just a cabaret night. It is a well-crafted reminder of the terrible toll racism, nationalism, xenophobia and desperation can take in difficult times – a climate currently being reconstructed in Greece. In the case of this play, American journalist William (Robert Howat) tries to be diplomatic, and reflects how being passive allows things to get worse and worse. [Eric Karoulla]

Until February 2, Dissection room, Summerhall. http://www.summerhall.co.uk/2013/1933-eine-nacht-im-kabarett/ http://1933kabarett.com/