Preview: Barry Humphries' Weimar Cabaret

This article is from 2016

Preview: Barry Humphries' Weimar Cabaret

credit: Claudio Raschella

The Aussie legend celebrates the music of Germany's Weimar Republic

Wilkommen, bienvenue, g'day as the Aussie comedy legend behind such cultural luminaries as Dame Edna Everage and Sir Les Patterson shines a light on an extraordinary period of artistic freedom and self-expression over on this side of the globe.

Barry Humphries' Weimar Cabaret celebrates the music of Kurt Weill, Hanns Eisler and Ernst Krenek, among other composers who soundtracked the carefree, hedonistic years of Germany's Weimar Republic before the Nazi crackdown in 1933.

Humphries himself will officiate in the role of conférencier or MC. Rounding out the lineup are coquettish and characterful music rendered by the Australian Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Richard Tognetti, and acclaimed cabaret performer Meow Meow. As Humphries can attest, she's no Sally Bowles, getting by on chutzpah alone; Humphries has actually met Jean Ross, the inspiration for Bowles' character in Christopher Isherwood's original Weimar-era stories (later made famous by the musical Cabaret).

Humphries' father-in-law was the poet Sir Stephen Spender, who was part of Isherwood's circle in 1930s Berlin and a source of many saucy tales. But Humphries has nursed his own lifelong love of European cabaret, starting his art and music collection as a schoolboy in Melbourne, which was home to many European émigrés, before embarking on his own life of cabaret.

Usher Hall, 8 & 9 Aug, 7.30pm, £12.50–£45 (£6.25–£22.50).

Barry Humphries Weimar Cabaret

Songs and instrumental music by Weill, Hindemith, Krenek, Eisler, Schulhoff, Holländer and others.