In Defence of Hitler!

LIP Theatre Company

Sweet Grassmarket

From 16 August 2016 to 18 August 2016

Rating: **

Review by Graeme Strachan

Johanna and Stephanie, a pair of first year university students, are debating how to rid the world of fascism, when Stephanie suddenly has the idea to go back in time and see whether they can convince Hitler to give up on fascism.

One minor plot contrivance later and the pair find themselves in the midst of 1930s Germany, rubbing shoulders with the cream of the Nazi high command, making up a series of lies to hide their identity and get to actually meet the Führer himself.

I'll be blunt. This isn't a great play, but in fairness to LIP Theatre it never pretends to be. This is the sort of bedrock amateur university theatre fare that used to make up great swathes of the Edinburgh Fringe, the classic concept of the chips 'n' beans production, where the plot is thinner than the costume material and the gags are as hit and miss as a Stormtrooper's aim (Star Wars not Nazis).

Yet there's an infectious sense of fun to the silliness and, despite the daftness of the plot, the acting that wanders from the exhuberant to the stilted to the whispered, there are more than a few laughs to be had, and I felt a pleasantly bemused expression creep over my face and stay there till the final bows were taken.

This is where a theatre company starts, and from such acorns mighty oaks do sometimes grow. In that regard, I applaud LIP Theatre for their efforts and tenacity.