Reviews from 2008 Melbourne Fringe Season …

Buzzcuts review of Hitlerhoff – by Alex Grantham

(this review is transcribed from RRR FM; it was broadcast on Wednesday 1 October, at 10am.)

(In the background, Keith McDougall’s cover of the Baywatch theme plays.)

“Ever considered the disturbing similarities between Hitler’s Aryan fantasies and the blonde, blue-eyed dreamworld of Baywatch? Now you can …

HITLERHOFF JUNIOR: A hero superman, with muscles like coconuts and hair like a tsunami …

MUMMY: Oh Hoffy, how visionary!

… Hitlerhoff is an adventure into pop-culture. It fuses the life story of Adolf Hitler and star David Hasselhoff. A black comedy that raises important questions about celebrity, ambition and propaganda. The opening multimedia shots will take you back to the 90s, when blondes were best, and the sun was always shining on Venice Beach. But be ready to be shocked as the play confronts and crosses boundaries.

Holocaust humour can be uncomfortable for some, but I found Hitlerhoff to be playful and quirky, with a serious message about the similarities between American imperialism, and German fascism.

Tobias Manderson-Galvin, Ezra Bix and Simone Page Jones are a stellar cast. They will take you to confusing heights of comedy and disgust. With the use of music, multimedia and a tight script, I was absolutely titillated by Hitlerhoff. This play is not for those who are easily offended, but if you enjoy poking fun at David Hasselhoff, and want to question pop-culture’s role in fascism, then I suggest booking a ticket today.

This has been Alex Grantham, for Buzzcuts.”

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

Review from Richard Watts, Melbourne Fringe Chair

(from Richard Watts’ MAN ABOUT TOWN blog)

Hitlerhoff

An unholy fusion of the lives of Adolph Hitler and David Hasslehoff that’s performed by a cast of three with the assistance of some simply superb video projection (congrats to Anto Skene and Puck Murphy) this twisted piece of camp irony was outrageous and laugh-out-loud funny. It did seem to drag a little towards the end, so I think it might have benefitted from being maybe 10 minutes shorter (though this may also have been an opening night flaw, as I was told today the show ran overtime on its first night), but for the most part it’s a very silly, very funny, and very wrong show. Special mention should be made of of Simone Page Jones and Exra Bix, who between them play a punishing range of characters, and do so with comic aplomb.

Three and half ‘did he just say what I think he said?’ gasps out of five.

Confusing, but possibly very flattering review of Hitlerhoff:

(from Born Dancin – Around the Fringe in 80 Shows)

HITLERHOFF

There are few things in this universe more

POWERFUL STARE OF IAN MCKELLEN



And that’s my review. I would like to discuss this show with others. It’s very good that way.

Glowing Hitlerhoff review in the Age, Tuesday 30 Septemer, 2008

” … But [Halfway Across the River] isn’t as strange as Hitlerhoff, a whirlwind tour of fake tan and moustaches, in which audiences are invited to consider the controversial parallels between Adolf Hitler and David Hasselhoff. Together at last!

Tobias Manderson-Galvin is unstoppable in the title role, revelling in every Freudian reference or chance to goose-step through shallow waters. His supporting cast, Simone Page Jones and Ezra Bix, is no less formidable. This is an incredible undertaking, with director Erin Kelly successfully containing the many elements.

For all its postmodern irony this is, simply, a show whose speedos are bulging with gags.

Writer Tom Doig has produced a clever, funny and outrageous play. Have no doubt; this is where the cool kids will be this Fringe Festival.”

– Margaret Paul, reviewer (article on p16)

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: