After more than a year in the making, the critically acclaimed, sell-out show, Halbwelt Kultur, comes to the Jermyn Street Theatre just in time to warm up your Winter!
First performed at the Churchill Theatre Bromley, Halbwelt Kultur began life as a one-woman cabaret featuring the finest songs of the Weimar era, set against the backdrop of the rise of World War II. An instant hit, the show spawned a seven-woman strong production, which premiered at the New Wimbledon Theatre Studio as part of its Fresh Ideas programme, and went on to wow audiences and critics alike in a new and improved version at the Battersea Mess and Music Hall.
Finally, at the end of 2013 (80-years since the end of the Weimar Republic), Halbwelt Kultur is receiving its central London debut in the city's leading Off-West-End venue, the Jermyn Street Theatre.
But what is 'Halbwelt Kultur' anyway?
HALBWELT KULTUR is a new musical cabaret, which conjures, recreates, and
pays homage to seven highly influential Weimar Republic women using a series of Brechtian vignettes, based on verbatim interviews and accounts of the period.
"The German is gross in his immorality. He likes his halbwelt, his underworld pleasures, to be devoid of any kultur, of any refinement."
Featuring a live band and seven beautiful women, the show immerses the audience in Weimar history and culture, both artistic and political. It narrates stories of the actresses, singers, writers and revolutionaries who became the icons of their various fields, and stitches monologues with some of the best cabaret songs of all time to form a rich tapestry of Weimar life. Tap into the world of courtroom reporter Gabriele Tergit as she experiences a raid by the SS; pay a visit to Marlene Dietrich and discover things you never knew about this Hollywood icon; join the wonderful Blandine Ebinger in her Berlin cabaret; salute socialist revolutionary Rosa Luxemburg as she rallies the troops; meet Claire Waldoff, the infamous cross-dressing and openly gay cabaret artist; and indulge in the provocative numbers of avant-garde performer Valeska Gert and bisexual enfant terrible Anita Berber.
Join our beautiful showgirls and our live jazz band for an evening of authentic Weimar decadence, pulchritude, pomp and splendor.
CREATIVES AND PRODUCTION:
Finnola D'Albert (Writer)
Patrick Kennedy (Director and Co-Producer)
Stephanie Hampton (Co-Producer)
Pete Mitchell (Musical Supervisor)
Adam Morris (Musical Director and Keys)
Alyssa Noble (Choreographer)
Alma Fournier-Carballo (Assistant Producer)
Sarah Bradnum (Assistant Producer)
Halbwelt in Context
Halbwelt Kultur is not just an evening of light entertainment. It's a show about women who pushed boundaries - whether political, social, sexual or artistic - and who demanded your attention and called for change; sometimes paying for it with their lives. It's a show that is hugely relevant in the modern world where, in a time and place far removed from the Weimar Republic, sexism is still prevalent and the LGBT community are still often regarded with distrust and disdain. If this sounds like an exaggeration, then I urge you to take a look at the Everyday Sexism Project, or look into the prejudices faced by LGBT Russians under Putin.
In fact, we were so struck by the parallels that can be drawn between the Germany of the 1930s and Russia today, we took to the streets and staged a kissing protest outside the Russian embassy prior to the Battersea run of the show.
We received overwhelming support from the gathering crowds for Notting Hill Carnival, and it made us very aware of how lucky we are to live in a country where difference is, at the very least, tolerated, if not celebrated. However, actual, genuine equality is still a long way off, and Halbwelt Kultur delights in its feminist and pro-LGBT agenda! Women in theatre are woefully under-represented, with lesbians being even less-so. We aim to buck this trend.
"We're not afraid to be queer and different,
If that means Hell, then Hell we'll take the chance!
They are so straight, uptight, upright and rigid,
They march in lockstep, we prefer to dance.
We see a world of romance and of pleasure,
All they can see is sheer banality,
Lavender nights are our greatest treasure
Where we can be just who we want to be."
About the Campaign
Creating theatre is expensive - there are no two ways about it. We aim to raise funds to cover production expenses and those of our cast and musicians, who have already given countless hours to this project out of the goodness of their hearts (and the lure of the applause). We wouldn't have had a hope of staging this show without our actors, musicians and production team all working for no financial reward, but it has always been our aim to pay our team a fair wage. However, we need your help to achieve this.
Your financial support will display your dedication to unsubsidised theatre and to paying creatives a fair wage for their work. You will, essentially, be championing our actors and musicians in their efforts to bring you new and exciting theatre, and you will (of course) be rewarded with a wonderful selection of prizes for doing so!
Risks and challenges
We’ve got our cast! We’ve got our crew! We've got our show! Our dates are confirmed and we've got our venue! Now we need you, our patrons, to enable us to pay our team a fair wage so that we can give our show the highest possible production value.
The future of arts funding is changing. The patronage system is making a comeback through crowdfunding websites, like Kickstarter. With your support we will ensure that we do justice to a project that is very close to our hearts.
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