Hitlerhoff review on Artshub, by Cecilia Mitchell

The result of two years research for a creative writing Masters thesis, the script of Fringe Festival play Hitlerhoff is brilliant. It is packed with one-liners, discomforting holocaust jokes, pop culture references (Dr Phil-style ‘follow your dreams’ clichés and the best of John Williams’ film scores) and literati send-ups (Waiting for Godot becomes a trilogy: Return of the Godot and The Godot Strikes Back).

Writer Tom Doig merges the personas of Adolf Hitler and David Hasslehoff to create a character so grotesque and bizarre you will laugh out loud and cringe with disgust.

The title role is played with incredible energy and commitment by Tobias Manderson-Galvin, who takes the character from his upbringing as an aspiring actor by a doting yet insipid mother and a father who calls him a ‘homo-fraulein’ in ‘leather panties’ through a series of increasingly hysterical attempts to give expression to his extreme egoism and misunderstood artistic genius.

Supporting Manderson-Galvin are Simone Page Jones and Ezra Bix, both excellent. Bix delivers the funniest moment of the play with a side-splitting portrayal of the Artistique Director of Juilliard Academy, who after an unsuccessful audition calls Hitlerhoff a philistine and implores him never to perform in public, ever. Hitlerhoff is crushed again and again.

Taunted by his nemesis, The Red Tide (of Communism), Hitlerhoff is told that his jokes are not funny, his irony not clever and his homophobia and sexism reveal infantile Oedipal tendencies. Humiliated but undeterred, Hitlerhoff’s desire for fame and glory turns to resentment and rage.

Exploring themes of mass hysteria, propaganda and consumer culture, Hitlerhoff plays on the danger and ridiculousness of the human desire to be ‘special’ and ‘make a difference’. Images of the actual ‘special treatment’ experienced by six million Jews during the Second World War are juxtaposed with the raucous antics of a cast in Baywatch swimsuits, making for chilling and thought-provoking satire.

Performances nightly from Tue 7th – Saturday 11th October, 10:15pm at North Melbourne Town Hall. Log on to www.hitlerhoff.com for details.
www.melbournefringe.com.au or phone (03)9658 9658

Cecilia Mitchell is Editor in Chief of Right Now – Human Rights Law in Australia Magazine. She holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Music and is currently studying a Juris Doctor at The University of Melbourne.

E: editor@artshub.com.au
W: http://www.rightnow.org.au

original context of this review: http://www.artshub.com.au/au/news.asp?sId=174358&ref=hubber

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One Response to “Hitlerhoff review on Artshub, by Cecilia Mitchell”

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