Luke Toulson: Grandpa, Hitler and Me

Luke Toulson's grandfather was a Royal Engineer during World War Two who served in France, North Africa and the Middle East. And during this time he wrote hundreds of letters to his wife Kate.

Grandpa, Hitler and Me is an enjoyable, well-crafted hour of comedy, and Toulson does a great job of bringing this moving, and heart-warming, story of love in the face of adversity to life.

Granted this doesn't sound like a hilarious premise for a show, but the loving-but-quizzical tone that Toulson adopts while telling this part of his grandparent's story is extremely funny. And he's reflective without sliding into the realms of the dull and worthy.

The genial, long-limbed Jesus lookalike, shares this piece of his family's history using a slideshow which, as well as photos, texts, newspaper cuttings and some stunning artwork, contains excerpts from his Grandfather's missives.

He contextualises his tale by starting with a focus on some incendiary remarks made by the TV historian David Starkey, and goes on to deftly weave sharp quips and whimsical observations into his engaging and well-paced commentary.

This takes in the japes his Grandfather was involved in, fondly highlights the quirks in his character, and also charts the little-known, but nevertheless significant, conflict between the Führer and Toulson's Aunt Susan. He also manages to squeeze in some inspired musings on a rousing, well-known wartime ditty.

Toulson cleverly draws on pop culture analogies to compare and contrast: the radically different means by, and manner in, which we communicated back then, the way we keep in touch now and the impact that this has on our relationships.

Among the light-heartedness, and intermittent interaction with the audience, there are some serious moments like when he reveals the reasons why he put the show together. And the love and respect that Toulson has for his grandparents, and his awe at their strength of character and tenacity in a time of immense hardship, is palpable throughout.

Grandpa, Hitler and Me is an enjoyable, well-crafted hour of comedy, and Toulson does a great job of bringing this moving, and heart-warming, story of love in the face of adversity to life.

Broadway Baby Radio interview with Luke Toulson 

http://www.broadwaybaby.com/news/luke-toulson/690

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Performances

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The Blurb

My grandpa was a Royal Engineer in France, North Africa and the Middle East during the Second World War. He wrote hundreds of loving, funny and insightful letters home to his wife. 70 years on, this show is about those letters, including stories of Dunkirk, the Blitz and a drunken attempt to climb a pyramid. ‘A superbly written piece of work which is poignant, thought-provoking and above all incredibly funny’ **** (Chortle.co.uk), ‘a highly skilled and very, very funny comedian’ **** (ThreeWeeks), ‘a gifted comic’ (Sunday Times). As seen on Russell Howard’s Good News.

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