Hi, Hitler. Lucie Pohl. The Gilded Balloon. Julia Pascal.

 

I usually skip Edinburgh ‘comedy shows’.  Happily I conquered my own prejudice.  Lucie Pohl’s one woman memoir of being born in postwar Germany as the daughter of a Romanian Jew and a displaced German father, as well as being Helene Weigel’s niece and therefore part of the famed Brecht family, made me curious.  What was she going to do with such material in stand-up?

Pohl has a startlingly strong stage presence and her text is always acerbic.  She  offers the memories of a German born Jew whose parents talked of nothing but Hitler.  She wackily evokes a self-dramatising couple who were themselves displaced, meschuggah and in exile.  The narrative is about transmitted trauma and diaspora.  It is about Berlin.  It is about New York.  It is about trying to fit in to the dominant culture and never succeeding.  It works.

What Pohl is talking about is, being a Jew, about being a girl and young woman who aches to be part of the dominant culture.  There are also witty observations of the pain of training to be an actor in Germany and the sexism encountered in auditions.  She works with great self-mockery, a highly skilled sense of cabaret, a direct patter that engages the audience and, in honour of her family history, is essentially Brechtian.  This is an extremely funny show.  I loved it.

Until 25 August, 4.15pm.

Julia Pascal © 2014.