In Defence of Hitler!

This is a time-traveller’s lark in which the two protagonists, Johan and Stefan, travel back in time to 1933 Germany after having had a debate over whether or not they would kill Hitler if they had the option. This interesting debate could have been cleverly brought to stage either as witty satire or a deeper look at the face of evil and how we confront it. Instead it totally falls down in terms of both script and acting.

The redeeming feature was the, at points amusing, Irish-accented and emotionally vulnerable Goebbels.

Johan and Stefan, having unlawfully used a time machine ride to go to off-limits Nazi Germany, knock out two Nazis, take their uniforms, bump into Goering, and are then arrested and interrogated by Goebbels while claiming to be the winners of a competition to dance in front of the Führer. The clerk of the time travel agency arrives with news that assassins are coming from the future to assassinate Hitler, so in order to preserve the space-time continuum the protagonists must join forces with the clerk, Goebbels, Goering, and Himmler to defend Hitler from them. Despite the long discussion on a similar point that the play opens with, once in Nazi Germany the question of the defence of Hitler seems to be remarkably little disputed, the importance of the space-time continuum, and alliance with the worst criminals in history, goes with only a small amount of question. In between all of this Goering shoots one of the protagonists in the head for little apparent reason, and the clerk makes a series of cringe-worthy jokes.

The acting leaves much to be desired throughout from nearly all of the characters, though the extras who play the assassins and anonymous Nazis have good moments. There were nonsensical and borderline sympathetic portrayals of Goering, Goebbels and Himmler, of which the redeeming feature was the, at points amusing, Irish-accented and emotionally vulnerable Goebbels. In fairness this was the first performance, and while the jokes generally don’t land well, a few do, and they, along with the acting, may improve over the course of the Fringe.

Reviews by Joseph Spencer

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★★★★
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In Defence of Hitler!

★★
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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Meet Johan and Stefan, two students in a cafe arguing over how to fight fascism. They don’t get very far. Instead, they look to test their precious theories by getting some first-hand experience and, Godwin’s Law be damned, who makes a better litmus test than good ol’ Hitler? With some forgivable deus ex machina, our two very likeable protagonists travel in time to 1942 Germany to wrestle with Messrs Goering, Goebbels and Himmler over the fate and soul of the fatherland and, perhaps, through the course of it all, they learn the meaning of true love.