Adolf at the Fringe. A review

Adolf. You can’t go wrong with Adolf. Everyone remains fascinated by the horror of it all, the audacity of it all, the endless history of it all. Sky has a history channel virtually dedicated to NAZI stuff. The Hitler Channel my wife calls it.

So throw up a production at the fringe dedicated to Hitler, and you are on a winner. A few flyers with the swastika and the crowds will flock.

But the message and the story is now so well known that it has to be something really special to be considered in any way a new or unknown contribution to our understanding of the NAZI’s. Pip Utton’s production at the Edinburgh Assembly rooms, I am afraid to say, fails. There is nothing new. Nothing that would add to the widespread and accepted understanding of how catastrophic was the creed of the NAZI’s and how vigilant we should continue to be against the rise of the far right.

The show is in two parts. The first has Utton as Adolf, addressing his military advisers and his civilian workers in the Bunker, close to the bloody end of it all, justifying his policies against the Jews, (and the gypsies and the homosexuals and the negros and the trade unionists) urging them to continue the idea of the master race. A brilliant solo performance, but really nothing that has not been done before. And done better.

The second half is atrocious.  Utton takes off his Hitler moustache  and his Hitler jacket and steps out of the Hitler character and becomes plain Pip Utton. In fact very plain Pip Utton.  What follows is a long self-indulgent, laboured and patronising rant. It is probably designed to provoke, with attacks on immigrants, jokes about fags, and the “message” that strong leadership is essential to our futures, And provoke it did with several people walking out. It no doubt would have ended with a nice reassuring anti-fascist message about the need to challenge such provocations, but it was taking so long to get there, was so utterly laboured and so completely patronising and boring that even I walked out. He attacked me, and others, as being stupid for walking out before his great laboured and patronising message was delivered. But it was his fault. He is so self-indulgent that he can’t notice when it all becomes too much.

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One thought on “Adolf at the Fringe. A review

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  1. So you were one of those who walked out – interesting to hear that, as we were wondering if he had used ‘plants’. He didn’t really need to, though, did he, with audience members responding as predictably as you did. OK, so you anticipated correctly where he was going … arguably he was taking a little too long to get there, the pace sagged a bit and he was covering some extremely dodgy ground, but this wasn’t Al Murray Pub Landlord. Having correctly deduced his aim, wasn’t the underlying message important enough to warrant hearing him out in full?
    To quote the man himself, it happened before and it will happen again. I’d say the message is important enough that it should transcend the medium.

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