Showing posts with label Love and Hitler. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Love and Hitler. Show all posts

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Lies, Love And Hitler - Review

Review originally posted at
Venue: Old Fitzroy Theatre (Woolloomooloo NSW), Apr 15 – May 3, 2014
Playwright: Elizabeth Avery Scott
Director: Rochelle Whyte
Actors: James Scott, Doug Chapman, Ylaria Rogers
Image by Katy Green Loughrey

Theatre review
Romance and art are not usually complementary; theirs is a fraught relationship. Art conventions are concerned with all that is deep in the human experience, and romance pursues something that is often inane and fleeting. Elizabeth Avery Scott’s script however, manages to place romance in its centre, and through themes of ethics, politics, history and religion, tells a story that is engaging and intelligent.

Scott’s structure for Love, Lies And Hitler discusses the nature of ethics, and unpacks perennial questions that we face in every ethical dilemma. A parallel is drawn across time and space, between a university lecturer’s love affair with a student, and a German theologian’s involvement in the plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler. The stakes are different, but our thought processes are intriguingly similar when determining right from wrong.

With topics like capital punishment, sexual harassment and Nazism put in focus, the play’s solemnity is inescapable. Director Rochelle Whyte handles the play’s dark sides with sensitivity and reverence, and her skill in introducing seamlessly, the apparition of Dietrich Bonhoeffer from 1945, into scenes at a university in modern day Australia is commendable. Less effective are her interpretation of the script’s moments of levity. These are frequently hurried through, and jokes are neglected, resulting in a show that feels heavier than necessary.

Ylaria Rogers plays Hannah and Hermione, displaying great efficiency and simplicity with both characters. Rogers places emphasis on moving the plot along swiftly, and telling her parts of the story clearly, but her portrayals would benefit from greater complexity and presence. James Scott is a very dynamic Paul Langley. His charisma quickly connects him with the audience, and we enjoy the tenacity in his performance, which is confident and thoroughly considered. There is however, a deliberateness to his style that can at times make his character seem less than authentic. Bonhoeffer is played by Doug Chapman, who has a subtle and naturalist approach that contrasts strongly with the other actors, and consequently, and ironically, helps him leave the greatest impression. Chapman provides a healthy counterbalance to the production with his restraint, which is also a quality that keeps us engrossed.

Stories about genocidal persecution and Hitler never dry up. They also never fail to fascinate. Love, Lies And Hitler is a show that entertains and enlightens. We think about our individual ethical boundaries and moral structures, while it seduces us with love stories past and present, and a surprising brand of romance that does not patronise.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Lies, Love and Hitler - Review

If you fancy going to the theatre this week? Go and see this. Earlier this year Wittenberg played at the Old Fitz and now Lies, Love and Hilter. Both plays are intellectually stimulating and entertaining at the same time.
Lies, Love and Hitler is not set in WWII, and for the most part has little to do with Hilter, it has more to do with Dietrich Banhoeffer who, as you will learn was a double agent during the war and tried to bring Hitler down.  The play is set in a University, Dr Paul Langley has been studying Banhoeffer's life and work for a very long time. So long that he sees visions of him. Bonhoeffer helps Langley through his inner conflicts, particularly through a moral dilemma which he finds himself in when he falls in love with one of his students, Hannah. 
The play starts by giving the audience a moral dilemma, by posing the question would you kill Hitler? It immediately grabs you and brings you into the play.
The acting is superb with only three actors - James Scott 'Langley,' Doug Chapman 'Detrich Bonhoeffer' and Ylaria Rogers 'Hannah' & 'Hermione' (Bonhoeffer's fiance). Ylaria and James manage to switch in and out of German accents with ease.
The play is written by Elizabeth Avery Scott who is an Australia writer and holds a Master of Arts Practice in Scriptwriting from Charles Sturt University. The play was shortlisted in 2009 for the prestigious Rodney Seaborn Playwright's Award. All I can say is I would like to see what won that year!
This production is only on until 3 May so get your tickets now, you will be sorry if you miss this one.