Margo: Half Woman, Half Beast
- Lorna Irvine
- 22 August 2018
This article is from 2018.
Cabaret scene and the Sturm and drang of Weimar republic
Cabaret starlet Margo Lion is on the prowl. Germany is being overrun by Nazis, who are shutting down gay clubs ('Ironic that one high kick has been replaced by another', she purrs) and her relationship with writer Marcellus Shiffer is starting to stiff. Cocaine and cocktails are no longer enough, and lover Marlene Dietrich is getting famous, while she borrows money.
Writer and performer Melinda Hughes gives an exquisite performance as the troubled star, railing as much against her own empty pursuit of decadence for its own sake, as the rise of the far-right. Her voice soars in multilingual songs by Weill and Spoliansky, as well as her own gorgeous songs co-written with Jeremy Limb.
Yet, for all of its r-rolling nods to Weimar hedonism, it's mostly a curiously sedate affair, a little too polite and well-mannered. It's her biting little asides to the audience, stolen jewellery as props, and the slivers of masochism in her mannerisms, that really make this Lion roar.