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Hitlerhoff review on Artshub, by Cecilia Mitchell

Posted in media, publicity, reviews with tags , , , , , , , on 7 October, 2008 by hitlerhoff

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 for details. 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.


original context of this review:


Review from Richard Watts, Melbourne Fringe Chair

Posted in media, publicity, reviews, shock and awe with tags , , , , , , , on 2 October, 2008 by hitlerhoff

(from Richard Watts’ MAN ABOUT TOWN blog)


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:

Posted in ethics of representing Hitler, media, publicity, reviews, shock and awe, sold-out season with tags , , , , , on 2 October, 2008 by hitlerhoff

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


There are few things in this universe more


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

More feedback on the opening week of Hitlerhoff – from our website

Posted in media, publicity, reviews with tags , , , on 1 October, 2008 by hitlerhoff

“I didn’t know you could DO that with history!”

– Doug Hendry

Journalism Lecturer, Melbourne University Media and Communications Department

“Wonderful gig. Loved it.”
– Dr. Julie Kimber
Australian Society for the Study of Labour History, Melbourne Branch

“Germany is ready for this show … it would be a big controversy … can you please sign a poster for me?”
By Nikolai (from Koln, Germany)

“Intelligent … sophisticated … perfectly cast … the leading man [Tobias Manderson-Galvin] is incredible … I’ve been talking about nothing else.”
– Esther Anatolitis, General Manager Melbourne Fringe

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

Posted in media, publicity, reviews, shock and awe, sold-out season with tags , , , , , on 30 September, 2008 by hitlerhoff

” … 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)

Nice quote from the radio interview on 3CR this morning …

Posted in media, publicity with tags , , , on 25 September, 2008 by hitlerhoff

Hitlerhoff‘s opening night is sold out. You want to know why? Because Tom Doig is a genius.”

– Alex Grantham, 3CR BREAKFAST

Hitlerhoff in the Melbourne Leader, Wednesday 17 September

Posted in ethics of representing Hitler, media, publicity with tags , , on 24 September, 2008 by hitlerhoff

Hitler, Hoff match made

(by Annika Priest, entertainment editor of the Melbourne Leader, Wednesday 17 September, 2008)

If Hitler could squeeze into David Hasselhoff’s speedos, how would he be?

An inflammatory proposal explored in the play called Hitlerhoff, is marching in to create a potential Fuhrer [sic] during this year’s Melbourne Fringe Festival.

Creative producer Tom Doig said he believes the miscreant Nazi leader and the ironically cool pop culture icon have much in common.

“They’re both huge in Germany,” said Doig, whose supervisor warned him off the idea for his Masters in creative writing at Melbourne University.

“They were both popular but know no one will admit they like them. They both have huge egos, not necessarily that much talent but lots of willpower.”

Under the sub-heading “Two wrongs don’t make a Reich”, the show finds the modern Frankenstein hanging out with lefty hippies at Vienna Beach.

Following a nervous breakdown he becomes an instant overnight celebrity and super powerful revolutionary figure.

Hitlerhoff is potentially offensive, admits Doig. Doig said that although he understands that the Holocaust is very much a sensitive issue, Hitler should not be beyond the reaches of satire.

(continues page14)

Bizarre subject in for satire

(from page 13)

“I think it’s saying something quite profound about culture, I don’t want it all to get lost in this guy with a cheeseburger down his speedos.

“I want it to be a crazy image that makes people think about the heart of darkness within popular culture.

“It’s the kind of culture where you’re encouraged to put yourself first and believe in yourself no matter what.

“It’s that quite banal, self-help motivational talk which is totally central to the success of Hitler and the horror it generated, and Hasselhoff and the tackiness it generated.”

Melbourne Fringe Festival advised Doig against incorporating a swastika into his show promos because the neo-Nazi overtones might affect the show’s appeal.

“Whilst we acknowledge it’s an area that will be potentially controversial and potentially confronting for some, our festival is about cutting-edge arts where you are going to get a sophisticated dissection of these sorts of areas,” Fringe creative producer Emily Sexton said.

According to Doig, perfomer Tobias Manderson-Galvin – who plays Hitlerhoff – was a “98-pound weakling” who was “not the exercising kind”, but with particular enthusiasm for the role he has been carbo-loading, going to the gym and using a personal trainer.

“I really hope I haven’t created a monster,” Doig said. “If I have I’m not the first.”