Mainstage at Bakehouse Theatre, Thu 1 Mar.
[THEATRE/SPOKEN WORD – UK]
Mengele, the third instalment of Guy Masterson’s Lest We Forget season, concerns itself with the moment that Nazi Germany’s “Angel of Death” is invited to come to terms with his life, and his demise. Josef Mengele famously escaped from the defeated regime and lived in relative anonymity in South America before drowning in 1979. This production takes place at that very moment of death. Mengele is washed “ashore” and believes that the woman he sees there has rescued him…
For the next hour, Mengele is invited by Azra to reveal who he is, what he has done and, most disturbingly, how he feels about his life’s work. She expertly feeds him words and ideas which he embraces and elaborates upon and yet, even when the truth is laid bare, Mengele cannot see the extent and impact of his monstrous ideas and actions.
Tim Marriott excels as the unrepentant epitome of evil. To give credibility to the notion that a monster like Mengele would truly believe that he should be admired for his despicable acts is no mean feat. Marriott’s Mengele is measured when initially discussing his life, becoming self-serving and pompous when addressing his foul science, and incredulous when encouraged to account for his actions. Adelaide-based Stefanie Rossi is equally superb as Azra’il, the agent of reckoning who very skilfully provides Mengele with enough rope, bit by bit, with which to hang himself.
Superbly written, the dialogue constantly bounces from one to the other and, despite perhaps knowing where the story is headed, there are enough emotional twists and turns to keep the audience wholly engaged. The sombre audio-visual interludes only amplify the magnitude of Mengele’s crimes against humanity.
Inspired by Right To Live, Philip Wharam’s novel, Mengele is a powerful production and, despite its uncomfortable subject matter, deserves to be seen.
Mengele is Part 3 of Guy Masterson’s #LestWeForget season.
Mengele continues at Mainstage at Bakehouse Theatre from 7.30pm until Sat 17 Mar.
Book at FringeTIX on 1300 621 255 or adelaidefringe.com.au. Click HERE to purchase your tickets.