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A sexually charged and unstoppable musical cabaret celebrating 7 women of the intriguing, tantalising and scandalous Weimar Republic. Read more

London, UK Theater
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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on November 23, 2013.

A sexually charged and unstoppable musical cabaret celebrating 7 women of the intriguing, tantalising and scandalous Weimar Republic.

London, UK Theater
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About this project

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.

Original promo image from Halbwelt Kultur
Original promo image from Halbwelt Kultur

CAST:
Sarah Bradnum
Samantha Clark
Julia Cugini
Alma Fournier-Carballo
Stephanie Hampton
Alyssa Noble
Gabriella Schmidt

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)

And if you'd like to see what the critics say, why not peruse some of our reviews here and here!

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.

The Halbwelt girls expressing their right to love freely.
The Halbwelt girls expressing their right to love freely.

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.

Thank you for reading and thank you for your support.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

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Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge £1 or more

    3 backers

    OUR ETERNAL GRATITUDE:

    Every pound counts and we appreciate anything you can give. Donate £1 and you will have the production team's eternal love and gratitude - thank you!

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  • You selected
    Pledge £5 or more

    12 backers

    A PUBLIC "THANK YOU":

    Donate £5 and we will include your name on a specially dedicated supporters page on our show website, as well as a Twitter and Facebook shoutout.

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  • You selected
    Pledge £10 or more

    22 backers Limited (78 left of 100)

    BECOME OUR 'LIEBLING':

    £10? Now that deserves a special treat, wouldn't you say? Donate £10 and, in addition to the above "Thank yous", you'll become one of Halbwelt Kultur's official 'Lieblings' (or 'Darlings', for anyone not familiar with German!). We will send you one of our limited edition and highly sought-after 'Liebling' button badges for you to wear with pride!

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    Only ships to: United Kingdom
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    Pledge £20 or more

    17 backers Limited (33 left of 50)

    A POSTCARD FROM BERLIN*:

    In addition to all the above, a £20 donation gets you a very special Halbwelt Kultur postcard signed by the cast! *No postcards will actually be sent from Berlin.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United Kingdom
  • You selected
    Pledge £50 or more

    7 backers Limited (43 left of 50)

    WILLKOMMEN IN BERLIN!

    Well now you really are spoiling us! For £50 we will give you a public "Thank you", a 'Liebling' badge, a signed postcard AND (most importantly) a ticket to see the show on the night of your choice. What's not to love?

    (You must arrange your own transportation to the show and accommodation, if necessary)

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  • You selected
    Pledge £100 or more

    2 backers Limited (23 left of 25)

    FOR YOUR ENTERTAINMENT, ENJOYMENT, AND OF COURSE, PLEASURE...

    It's getting serious now. You are donating a substantial amount of money and for that, we thank you from the bottom of our suspender belts. A £100 donation gets you all of the above, but this time you get TWO tickets to the show on the night of your choice, a mention in the programme, and a photo opportunity with the cast onstage! We will send you a digital copy of this photo, which is yours to treasure forever. Vielen Dank!

    (You must arrange your own transportation to the show and accommodation, if necessary)

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  • You selected
    Pledge £200 or more

    1 backer Limited (9 left of 10)

    I CAN SEE YOU'RE GETTING EAGER MEIN HERR!

    You are, and will always be, a superstar for being so darn generous! We will reward this generosity with ALL of the above goodies, two tickets to the show on the night of your choice, a mention in the programme, a photo with the cast, PLUS a beautiful Halbwelt Kultur poster signed by all the cast and director.

    (You must arrange your own transportation to the show and accommodation, if necessary)

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  • You selected
    Pledge £500 or more

    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    MY FREEDOM IS MY ART:

    A donation of £500 or more is nothing to be sniffed at. In fact, it makes you downright Wunderbar in our eyes! So as a reward, we invite you and a guest to attend our Press Night and after party to celebrate with us! You will, of course, also receive your badge, postcard, photo with the cast and signed poster too.

    (You must arrange your own transportation to the show and accommodation, if necessary)

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge £1,000 or more

    1 backer Limited (4 left of 5)

    TURN ON THE LIGHTS AND SEE BERLIN IM LICHT!

    Wow. You have donated at the highest level and shown that you are truly committed to Halbwelt Kultur and everything we stand for. Thank you. As an extra special reward, we will bring Halbwelt Kultur to YOU. That's right - we will create a bespoke version of the show to suit your venue and make yours a night to remember by performing at your event. Herrliche, ja?

    Estimated delivery:

Funding period

- (30 days)