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EDINBURGH 2011: BWW Reviews: HITLER THE MUSICAL, Gryphon @ The Point, Aug 15 2011

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Hitler! The Musical tells the story of Hitler's beginnings. We hear about how getting turned down for art school (twice) inspired him to take over the world instead, some of his 'epic fails' such as the Beer Hall Putsch, and his strange memory loss between 1939 and 1945. All he really wants is to show everyone the 'man behind the moustache'.

In essence, this is the story of Hitler if he had been a modern day teenager. The cast and crew have obviously worked hard to produce an original show, and a lot of the material shows that there isn't a shortage of creativity among them. At times they perfect the satirical tone necessary to pull off a musical with this kind of subject matter, and their overt references to their Token Jew as a barometer for offensive material is a nIce Touch. However, at times they tend to rely a little too much on well-know Hitler comedy (if you can classify Hitler comedy as a 'thing' in itself), and it comes across as a little stale rather than as being an homage.

The cast all give enthusiastic performances and have clearly put in the rehearsals to ensure that everyone knows what they're supposed to be doing, so from that point of view it's a smooth execution. A lot of them could do with some lessons in projection and enunciation, as a substantial proportion of the dialogue was either muted or lost completely, especially since they were unmic-ed, and it meant that potentially funny dialogue was wasted.

Despite its faults, it's an enjoyable production and has potential to become even better with some editing and polishing.

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Julia Hogg Julia was born and raised in London, had a brief (10-year) interlude living in New Zealand, and moved back to London in 2007. She has spent a slightly worrying amount of time and money in West End and fringe theatres ever since, where her unabashed love for musicals has flourished. She has a very normal day-job in order to support her theatre habit, and can often be heard to comment "well, it'd almost be rude NOT to see it". She has a background in psychology, a keen interest in Deaf culture and is currently learning British Sign Language. If you need to contact her, she will most likely be in a theatre somewhere.


 

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