Dietrich, Natural Duty at Wilton’s Music Hall: Review by Stephen Vowles

This exceptional show focuses on the war years when Marlene Dietrich, under direct orders from General Patton, went to entertain the troops throughout Europe and found herself in her native Berlin at the end of the Second World War. The show tells how that experience affected her as a human being. Peter Groom inhabits the Dietrich person with such sophistication. He has her mannerisms to a tee; the hands behind the back creating a perfect pose. There is an integrity to his performance that is more than a homage, it’s a reminder of how much of a ‘one of a kind’ Dietrich was.

He re-enacts her interview with Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s notorious propaganda minister, and also her renouncing of her German heritage and citizenship to become an American citizen. At the same time reminding her audience that she still has the German work ethic of being on time and doing the job to the best of your ability. Groom is out to impress and he does this with sultry and effervescent renditions of the Dietrich signature tunes Falling In Love Again, Lili Marlene, and the anti war anthem Where Have All The Flowers Gone? An absorbing 60 minutes of graceful theatre where a segment of a star’s story is beautifully told.


Dietrich, Natural Duty runs to Saturday 24th November at Wilton’s Music Hall, 1 Graces Alley E1. Box office 020 7702 2789

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