A sensation when it premiered at the Burgtheater in Austria in 1987, Mein Kampf is a dizzying and demented farce that blends multiple comic genres and humour both high and low – it sealed George Tabori’s fame as one of the most important dramatists in Europe.
It’s Winter in Vienna and death stalks the streets. A young Hitler arrives from Braunau seeking fame and fortune as an artist. Meanwhile in a flophouse on Blood Street, Shlomo Herzl, a Jewish survival artist, struggles with his magnum opus, Mein Kampf. Chaos ensues.
Forced into exile by the Third Reich, Tabori lost most of his family in the Holocaust – Mein Kampf is nothing less than Tabori’s own struggle and personal confrontation with Hitler, the man who “changed my life, poisoned my dreams.”
Part history, part biography and yet a complete fabrication, in Mein Kampf Tabori wrestles with the big issues of the 20th century that have haunted him.
Hungarian-born George Tabori (1914-2007), whose life and work spanned almost the entire 20th century, was a truly international citizen: multi-lingual, multi-talented, courageous and irreverent. He was a tower in European theatre and by 1992, the year he won the prestigious Georg Büchner Preis, Tabori was the most widely performed modern writer in the German theatre.
Prior to returning to Germany at age 58 he lived in London, New York and Hollywood. In America he met Brecht and Thomas Mann, wrote Broadway plays and screen plays, including I Confess for Hitchcock, and established links with the Actors Studio.
Mein Kampf was a sensation when it premiered, with seven productions in its first season and in short order over 40 productions in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, and is presented as part of ENCORE – an exciting new creative partnership between two of Melbourne’s thriving independent performing arts venues – La Mama and fortyfivedownstairs.
“A beautifully directed and performed production of an outrageously funny and confronting play. Don’t miss.” – Alison Croggon
Director: Beng Oh Featuring: Sarah Bollenberg, David Kambouris, Steve Gome, Samuel Macdonald, Glenn van Oosterom, Stephania Pountney Set Design: Peter Mumford Lighting Design: Stelios Karagiannis Costume Design: Amaya Vecellio Sound Design: Natasha Moszenin Producer: 15 Minutes from Anywhere
fortyfivedownstairs, 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Season: 2 – 13 July 2014
Bookings: (03) 9662 9966 or online at: www.fortyfivedownstairs.com
Image: Glenn van Oosterom in Mein Kampf – photo by Sarah Walker