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Halbwelt Kultur - Jermyn Street Theatre

Halbwelt Kultur

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

PK PRODUCTIONS in association with Jermyn Street Theatre are presenting Halbwelt Kultur – from November 26 to December 15, 2013.

Weimar Germany – economic chaos, political upheaval and cultural innovation. A time of sexual liberation and creative flair, played out in the joyous decadence of the cabaret clubs to the melody and rhythm of the jazz age.

Seven women, each representing an aspect of the fragile era in which Germany danced toward the storm that was to come.

The international film star Marlene Deitrich, the infamous cross dresser Claire Waldoff, the cabaret legend Blandine Ebinger, dancer and performance artist Anita Berber, socialist revolutionary Rosa Luxemburg and avant-garde performer Valeska Gert comprise a cast of characters who defined the spirit of an age.

An age written in sand as the tidal wave that was to engulf the world fast approached.

Halbwelt Kultur explores and reveals this world through a series of seven vignettes each focusing on these women who were later labeled as degenerates by the Nazi regime and were either exiled, imprisoned or killed.

A melancholic ballet transforms into politically charged Brechtian number, which flows into a cheeky Charleston and in turn blends into a tragic torch-song. Each emerges from a tight ensemble of burlesque clad women building up to evoke a time, a place, a mood and an era.

Based on an original idea by Patrick Kennedy (who also directs) and Stephanie Hampton with additional writing by Finn D’Albert, Halbwelt Kultur has music by Hanns Eisler, Mischa Spoliansky, Friedrich Hollaender and Kurt Weill and others.

Halbwelt Kultur enjoyed a sell out run at The New Wimbledon Studio in April and was subsequently part of Ruby In Blue’s Hutch at Riverside Studios.

PK Productions was founded in 2009 by Patrick Kennedy and aims to develop new writing and stage scarcely produced but socially important plays and music.

Patrick Kennedy is a London based theatre producer and director. A research scholar in twentieth century American actor training techniques, he completed an extensive research project into Stella Adler and Lee Strasberg for the University of Birmingham. There he directed a production of Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard, implementing the rehearsal techniques of Strasberg and Adler.

Halbwelt Kultur is one half of Jermyn Street Theatre’s Christmas programme, the other being Death Ship 666 which plays earlier in the evening. Together they complete Jermyn Street Theatre’s autumn season following The Potsdam Quartet by David Pinner directed by the theatre’s artistic director Anthony Biggs.

Tickets: £18, £15 concession – available from the box office on 0207 287 2875 and online at www.jermynstreettheatre.co.uk/.

Times: Tuesday to Saturday at 9pm; Saturday and Sunday matinees at 5pm.