Halbwelt Kultur is a cabaret show with a difference. Boasting a host of great songs, evocative acting and dancing with just the right amount of history and politics thrown in – it certainly delivers on so many levels.
Based in 1920’s Berlin during the decedent time of the Weimar Republic, Halbwelt Kultur is made up of 7 vignettes, giving us a glimpse into the lives of women from the era. Through music, dance and performance we are introduced to each woman, including cabaret icons and political revolutionaries. There’s Valeska Gert, boundary-pushing expressionist dancer, Claire Waldorff, openly gay entertainer, (with a fantastic drag cabaret performance), and Rosa Luxembourg, communist activist, shot dead during a political uprising.
As we explore the different facets of the women of Berlin the audience is treated to some excellent cabaret songs and dance, energetically performed by the Halbwelt girls in some rather sexy period lingerie! In swinging wildly from burlesque performances to political motifs Halbwelt Kultur runs the risk of demeaning the more serious themes; however the show handles this masterfully. The audience are transported seamlessly between vignettes, the music and performances allowing the atmosphere to change effortlessly, with none of the characters or stories losing their integrity. One notable example of this was the vignette featuring Anita Berberm, alcoholic and drug addicted dancer. Here the provocative and emotionally charged performance perfectly depicted Berberm’s character and culminated in a fantastically choreographed dance piece, respectfully paying homage to an icon.
Halbwelt Kultur transports the audience into the seedy, dark but creative and vibrant Berlin of the 1920’s. It also gives us an enlightening portrait of these cultural female icons. In this way I felt the show was certainly relevant today, the feminist themes and brazen sexuality resonate with the surge in action for gender equality and gay rights issues we’ve seen in recent times.
But enough of the social/political talk! Yes you can meditate on the various themes Halbwelt Kultur throws up, but also go for the fantastic, fun cabaret show it is – the great live music and performances, dancing and singing, that make this show one of the hottest tickets around!