Part Jazz gig, part stand up, propaganda swing does not futz around! Depicting true events inpre-war Berlin, the story follows the lives of some of Germany’s most renowned Jazz musicians as they make a deal with the devil.
The audience was a varied bunch from OAPs to teenagers, actresses to hippies and everything in between. There was an excited bubble of noise as the audience enters face to face with a Jazz band and a Nazi flag. Once people are settled and phones are off the show starts (and ends!)with big swing beats and powerful vocals making it impossible to sit still or in some cases even sit! The mood is fun and silly, and the story unfolds accompanied by beautiful grooves, gags and Germans.
Set amidst the backdrop of the Second World War, questions of politics and humanity are brought to life, perhaps most harrowingly by Chris Andrew Mellon’s depiction of Otto Stenzl, a Jewish nightclub owner in Berlin, as he makes his last stand against the tide of fascism. Scottish writer Peter Arnott (Breathing House) combines history with humanity and breathes life and understanding into a part of one of the darkest chapters of human history.
The crowd were mesmerised as the mood swung from dark to comic faster than Steve Tromans and his band. The stage was brought to life from the first moment to the last by the beautifulLaLa Anderson played by the talented Miranda Wilford. Supported by a strong cast, Richard Conlon’s American journalist, Bill Constant provides the laughs and good old fashioned straight thinkin’. I found Jonny Bower’s musical performance as the Jazz loving Nazi Charlie Schwedlerto be quite brilliant, if you’re reading Jonny, I would love to see you in concert.
Presented by Belgrade Theatre and Nottingham Playhouse Theatre Company, Hamish Glen’s Propaganda Swing is playing at the Nottingham Playhouseuntil Saturday 18th October. Whether you love music, history, theatre or just good entertainment; Propaganda Swing has something for all the family. Tickets are priced from £9.50 and it will be the best tenner you ever spend! If you get the chance, go and see this show, it’s a hit on all sixes.