Printable CopyDIETRICH: NATURAL DUTY
Black Box Theatre - Adelaide Botanic Garden
Until 15 Mar 2020

Review by Fran Edwards

Marlene Dietrich, famous for a languid sensuality that became her trademark, lived a long and successful life as a singer, actress and film star. She shot to stardom in the German film “Blue Angel” – and this is where Peter Groom begins his story. Looking every inch the glamourous icon, he stands in a sparkling dress and tells us of Marlene’s early life, her training as a violinist and her beginnings in Reinhardt’s theatre and the small film parts that lead to her big break and her move to the USA.

We hear of Marlene’s problems with Hitler’s Germany and the anguish of leaving her mother in Berlin. She (he is convincing) tells us of becoming an American citizen, denouncing Germany and joining the fight at the front to support the troops. The conditions were not good, and she shared the uncomfortable living conditions with the soldiers she was there to entertain. The insight into her life is fascinating, dotted with songs and reminiscing with a voice from the back of the theatre asking interview questions she does not always want to answer.

This show is an interesting mix of theatre, history and Marlene. Written by Peter Groom and Oliver Gully it is sensitive, informative and well produced. Well worth a visit to the Botanic Gardens!

Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)