Adolph

Pip Utton

The Assembly Rooms

From 13 August 2012 to 14 August 2012

Rating: ****

Review by Robin Strapp

Pip Utton’s Adolph, at the Assembly Rooms for two performances only, juxtaposes with his new show Churchill and the two could not be more different.

In Adolph, Utton delivers a tour-de-force performance as Hitler. He is in his bunker at the end of the war saying goodbye to his servants and party faithful. It is a diatribe about his ideological beliefs and his fervent belief that all he did was done for the German people.

He blames the Jews for everything and justifies his programme of genocide to create a pure Aryan race.

Performed on a stark stage with a large Nazi banner dominating the centre and a small table covered in a red cloth, we switch from bunker to rousing speeches. Utton uncannily captures Hitler’s gestures and mannerism with incredible accuracy.

It’s uncomfortable theatre but delivered with such commitment that you are drawn into the fanaticism and zealous behaviour of the Fuhrer.

The second part of the performance when Utton takes off his wig and moustache, scrounges a cigarette from a member of the audience and opens a can of beer is much more challenging. He chats about his present day life and reflects the prejudices and bigotry of Britain today.

It is embarrassing, agonising and many of the audience walked out in disgust fiercely barracking Utton. The strong denouement is compelling but does the end justify the means?