Eleanor's Story: An Americal Girl in Hitler's Germany

Ingrid Garner

Gilded Balloon Teviot

From 05 August 2017 to 28 August 2017

Rating: ***

Review by Graeme Strachan

The tale of Eleanor Garner, the grandmother of performer Ingrid Garner, is a touching and fascinating depiction of Hitler's Germany as seen from the inside by a German-American family who have not long moved from the United States to the Fatherland just at the breakout of World War 2.

Garner leads us through the trials and tribulations of a child trying to understand the meaning of war, of persecution, the need to feel accepted in the new country vying with the old love of America, and the terror at the regime and the following brutalities at the hands of the liberating Red Army.

It is an entertaining performance, but one that unfortunately is difficult to fairly review, as the entire first half of the performance was almost drowned out by the roars of cockney voices and music blaring through the paper-thin walls, followed by similar sounds towards the end as the next show in the neighbouring venue began.

To compound this all, someone, presumably a child, decided to play "postman's knock" on the firedoor of the venue. All of which Garner steadfastly ignored and continued with professionalism and grace that go far beyond what an artist paying heavily for a venue space should have to put up with. This professionalism, on top of a solid script, is why it pains me to only give such a show three stars.

I'd recommend this show heartily with the proviso that as shows are daily, the noise pollution will likely be the same. Indeed, I can only hope that next year, should she return, Garner will find a more sensible venue, and in the mean time that the Gilded Ballon has granted her a heavy discount on her rate.