Frau Welt (4 stars)

This article is from 2018

Frau Welt

credit: Aine Flanagan

A dark and funny cabaret show about ambition and the thrive to fit in

Frau Welt is a drag cabaret theatre show starring the excellent Peter Clements as a glamorous German socialite, who reinvents herself as an actress in 1930s Berlin then a 1970s Broadway star. Through this fictional grand dame of theatre, Frau Welt explores the extent to which jealousy and ambition can drive someone to commit unspeakable crimes.

Through the use of chronological flashbacks, Clements wonderfully portrays a conservative character who kills her lover upon realising he was cheating on her, then a lead actress to gain the attention of her director (Brecht himself). Frau Welt is racist, snobbish and homophobic - and yet incredibly endearing and mesmerising throughout.

Her monologues are as overly dramatic as her overly drawn eyebrows, dipping into camp and grotesque without ever losing the audience's attention. The pace occasionally becomes repetitive, in particular the moments when audience members are temporarily brought onstage, which tend to drag on despite Clements's knack for interacting with his unsuspecting guests.

His measured, elegant moves and onstage presence, still, make Frau Welt an entertaining hour and a real delight. Clements's acting skills show the excellent writing (by Clements and Oliver Walde), and make the ending a memorable moment of assertion and vulnerability.

Assembly Rooms, until 25 Aug, 8.35pm, £13.

Frau Welt

  • 4 stars

Hackney Showroom The infamous international shapeshifter Frau Welt tells her story for the first and last time in this genre-busting new play by Peter Clements and Oliver Dawe. From Weimar Berlin to Broadway stardom, her secret is finally exposed. Frau Welt is a play about the outsider and the consequences of a life…