Dear Mister Kaiser

In one of the more light-hearted representations of the First World War at the Fringe this year, Dear Mister Kaiser charts the result of one idealistic English soldier’s request to the German Kaiser: to be given temporary leave from his POW camp to visit his hometown. The plot never turns in quite the way you’d expect.

The show seems content with a warm quirkiness even when not realising the full potential of a scene

The show’s tongue is always in cheek, playfully anti-historical yet continually assuring the audience it is a true tale. The piece’s charm swings between modern-day references to potholes in Wolverhampton and the sheer delight of its set, which shifts from place to place and vehicle to vehicle with an ease that conceals the thoughtful design behind this production. The choo-choo charm of the train-carriage prologue is more than enough to put anyone in a good mood. Several moments of choreography or scene-changes could easily have been more developed and visually impressive, but the show seems content with a warm quirkiness even when not realising the full potential of a scene and this fault never hinders the show too badly.

Dear Mister Kaiser doesn’t quite manage to escape depicting stereotypes of the nations involved, but they are always used for humour rather than malice. The relationships between the characters of both nationalities are captivating and warmly portrayed, particularly the bickering Kaiser and son, though the acting can often be less gripping. The plot and action is too slight to ever truly become moving, which is a shame given the context of the play and the war’s centenary. Movement and combat, too, can be slightly wooden. Generally, the show is much more silly than funny, more cheerful than achieving. But as a midday show, whose aim is delight rather than anything more substantial, there is much to be enjoyed here.

Reviews by Henry St Leger

Pleasance Dome

Police Cops in Space

★★★★
Underbelly, Cowgate

Frankie Vah by Luke Wright

★★★★★
Summerhall

A Hundred Different Words for Love

★★★★★
Bush Theatre

Guards at the Taj

★★★★★
Camden People's Theatre

Beta Public V

★★★★

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 £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

A modern twist on the classic war drama, Dear Mister Kaiser tells the extraordinary true story of Robert Campbell, a British Prisoner of War in WWI, who, after receiving terrible news from back home, takes the unlikely step of writing a letter to the Kaiser of Germany. A wondrous and uplifting piece of new writing, filled with lashings of stiff upper lip and a Zeppelin ride. Join Hour Lot on a mad dash across Europe as they tell the story of how one carefully worded letter forged the most unlikely of friendships.

Most Popular See More

Moulin Rouge! The Musical

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Mousetrap

From £15.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Lion King

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Pretty Woman: The Musical

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

My Fair Lady

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Cinderella The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets