'33 (a Kabarett)

Far from the madding crowd (and the Royal Mile), the Hill Street Theatre is hosting one of the most haunting, gut-wrenching pieces of theatre at the Fringe this year. Equal parts monologue and cabaret act, '33 (A Kabarett) follows a nameless ‘vanquished impresario’ of a Berlin nightclub, his makeup smeared and his costume trunk upended, as he relives the destruction of his sometime home, his friends, and his audiences: all slaughtered one-by-one, he tells us, by the incoming Nazi regime. We must flee to save ourselves, the MC tells us – he too must avoid the mistakes made by his departed friends and learn to ‘blend in’ with the new world order.

But first, he must honour those he has lost, and honour them he does; assuming the roles of song-and-dance man Rodrigo, Brooklyn-born clown Milton, and a departed female lover in turn, performing songs and routines in a series of melancholy elegies for their world gone by. ‘I Never Do Anything Twice’ is a particular highlight here, as is an extended stand-up sequence told in the throaty fuggedaboutit-ese of Milton, whose humor masks a barely contained rage at the injustice overtaking his adopted city.

Written and performed with breathtaking stamina by Bremner Duthie, '33 is compelling throughout. While at times the dialogue and acting borders on the self-consciously mannered (this is very much an actor's monologue) such stylisation nevertheless works well for the performative setting; we are never allowed to forget that we are, after all, in the world of the cabaret.

Other Fringe cabarets might be sexier, more glamorous, performed with more sequins and sparkle. But for sheer emotion, unvarnished and raw, Duthie's evocation of a vanished world is more than worth the trek to the Hill Street Theatre. It'd be worth a flight to Berlin.

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

The Blurb

One final, desperate show! The vanquished impresario of a ruined Berlin cabaret takes the stage to honour his lost friends. 'Stunning' (Vue Magazine). 'Utterly arresting' (OrlandoTheater.com). 'Incredible one-man show' (PBSAmerica.co.uk). 'A joy to watch' (NoLa Defender).

Most Popular See More

The Play That Goes Wrong

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Phantom of the Opera

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets

SIX

From £21.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Pretty Woman: The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Frozen the Musical

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Back to the Future - The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets