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Adelaide Fringe 2011


Guy Masterson's Centre for International Theatre

Genre: Drama

Venue: The Royalty Theatre Angas Street Adelaide


Low Down

 The Fuhrer’s bunker, Berlin 1945. Hitler awaits the inevitable collapse of Berlin. Directed by Guy Masterson, Pip Utton’s Adolf has been seen all over the world.

It appears in The Adelaide Fringe February 19 at 8 PM then February 20 – 27 at 7.15 PM.


 It is unnerving to sit through a one person show when the theatre sounds like a time bomb as you enter the auditorium and the stage is adorned with something similar to grandiose sets from ‘Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back’. This surreal science theatrical fiction is spellbinding. If sitting under Pip Utton as Adolf Hitler is not distressing enough, wait for the deepest darkest twist. This creepy play is masterfully gut-wrenching and deeply disturbing, while being witty and bone-scrapingly close to the blood-spotted marrow of humanity. A beautifully delivered king hit by Utton as Hitler, smack in the face. The fourth wall of the theatre is torn down as this seasoned actor clasps his fist and drills the audience. This is Hitler handing out cyanide capsules to his staff, sincere, thoughtful and kind. Thinking of others, doing it all for the good of the country. Reminding us we are merely creatures. Keeping our dreams, our future, our hopes, at hand. Did I mention feeling unnerved?

I was curious how I would feel about this play before I saw it, knowing that solo shows can sometimes be quite dull, and Hitler is such a strong symbol. It is difficult to laugh when this Hitler gives personal eye contact to his audience regularly; I really wouldn’t want to provoke him. Luckily the laughter came from shared jokes, he was allowing us, wanting us to laugh; not a lot, this is not stand up comedy. Hitler was very engaging.
Needless to say it is very well directed and realised theatre of a simple but grand order. I understand why the work has a solidly distinguished history; I can only thank Masterson and Utton for such a refreshingly gothic emotional experience, and the twist! The latter part of the play gives the former such resonance. I encourage anyone thinking they probably wouldn’t enjoy this theatre to give it a go, it is well worth seeing and there is more to it than meets the eye.


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