A German Life
Next Occurrence : 01 Mar 2021
Three years ago, at a nursing home in Munich, a very old lady passed away. Longevity aside, (she was 106), the achievements of Brunhilde Pomsel were pretty modest, although she was undoubtedly a wiz at shorthand. How then did she come to emerge from the rubble near Hitler’s bunker waving a white pillow case to the approaching Russian troops in April 1945?
British playwright Christopher Hampton has fashioned an extraordinary theatrical tour-de-force based on testimony this resolutely ‘apolitical’ woman, who worked as a secretary to Joseph Goebbels, gave to Austrian documentary makers at the sprightlier age of 103. One of the last actively involved witnesses to the rise, fall and aftermath of the Third Reich, Brunhilde is intelligent and likeable, honest and credible. She doesn’t hide her youthful ignorance at the regime’s atrocities, her awe at finding herself at the heart of power, nor does she show any false remorse. Her refusal to think too hard about what was going on and focus instead on her own life, raises confronting questions for contemporary audiences.
For the national premiere of this highly demanding ninety-minute solo, Adelaide has the rare opportunity to witness the work of our finest stage performer, Robyn Nevin, under the direction of Neil Armfield.
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