City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Adolf


By Kenneth Scott - Posted on 14 August 2007

Adolf
4
Show details
Venue: 
New Town Theatre
Company: 
Guy Masterson - Theatre tours international
Running time: 
90mins
Production: 
Pip Utton (writer) Guy Masterson (director)
Performers: 
Pip Utton (Adolf Hitler)

Pip Utton's one man play "Adolf" was first performed at the Fringe in 1997, winning him a nomination for best actor award by The Stage. Since then it has toured the world - including Hong Kong, India, Australia and Berlin - as one of the most successful solo shows of the last decade. Ten years on, Adolf is back in town.

The spectre of Adolf Hitler is closer than we think. We meet him in the bunker near the end of his regime. At first he seems weakened, almost beaten as he rails against his generals who have abandoned him, but he has a message for us. The audience are drawn in, complicit as he refers to us as his friends, the party faithful who have stayed by him. "Sit up straight" he instructs as he delivers a calculated guide to rebuilding the cause.

The tools are brutal, uncompromising, manipulating and ultimately beyond reason. Now the orator, he stirs to a rousing explanation of his pre-ordained role, his destiny. While we know his techniques for winning hearts and minds, he is transfixing, the reasoning beguiling. "How can it be wrong when we put the German people first?" he demands as he lists his triumphs and rages against the Jewish conspiracy.

With a simple loosening of the tie he starts the transformation to an avuncular cheeky-chappie, cadging a fag and a beer. He jokes about modern conflicts, asylum seekers, his vision for a green and pleasant land and we are challenged whether we haven't had similar thoughts.

The little Hitlers are still out there just waiting to be let in. In humanising a monster Pip Utton has created a piece of mind-bending theatre.

Show times: 2-26 August, 12.20