Adelaide Fringe 2019: Dietrich: Natural Duty

Dietrich: Natural Duty
Noel Lothian Hall
On until 17 March



Another top notch show. Peter Groom has paid exquisite attention to detail to bring Marlene Dietrich to life in front of us. The gown, the look, the charming speech impediment, the timing, the limited but attractive singing voice.

The script had to render a very long and complicated life complete in an hour. It did this by making it the story of the war – Natural Duty – and her role in it. Along the way it ignored the vexed issue of the sister, the Nazi sympathiser, excised by Dietrich herself from her own life from immediately after the war. She saved her, it is understood, but there her familial loyalty ended.

Men dressed up as woman are hit and miss for me, but this is a case of total hit. It is exactly perfect having this man playing this woman. Groom should be really proud of the job he does in a show that is sometimes very funny, but always moving, and it merits, as elsewhere, a sellout audience every night.

It’s worthwhile taking a look at an interview with Groom about the show here.