Socialist Worker

1933 And All That: Brecht’s cabaret comeback

by Mary Peters
Issue No. 2058

Bertolt Brecht

Bertolt Brecht

This excellent production is written and performed by singer Anna Zapparoli and songwriter and pianist Mario Borciani.

The show features cabaret songs by Kurt Weill, Bertolt Brecht and some of their less well-known contemporaries – accompanied by a four-piece band.

It is a musical journey that looks at German cabaret during the first half of the 20th century.

Beginning with the First World War, its songs are impregnated with a cheerfully macabre delight in crime (Frank Wedekind’s “I Killed My Aunt” and Brecht’s “Jacob Apfelboeck”).

The production goes on to look at the cabaret of the US – where many of the cabaret songwriters were forced to take refuge to avoid persecution by the Nazis.

Sung in four languages, the play depicts a pre-Second World War Germany that welcomed colourful musical influences from all over the world.

Zapparoli convincingly portrays a wide array of characters that range from a street vendor to glamorous chanteuse, to Brecht himself.

This play is a must-see, and a rare chance to hear these gritty and challenging songs coming back to life.

1933 And All That: Brecht, Weill and Friends
La Dual Band
at Marxism 2007, London
Friday 6 July

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Article information

Tue 3 Jul 2007, 18:28 BST
Issue No. 2058
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