by Cate Altamura
Ever since I was 7-years-old, I knew I wanted to be a writer and made my own Mr Men books. Today, I am a freelance writer and have the privilege to review bands, theatre and comedy across Melbourne, not to mention interview some incredible artists.
Written by playwright Enzo Condello, "Geli, Hitler's Niece
", is inspired by Hitler's half-niece Geli Raubal. There has been a lot of speculation that Hitler had a sexual relationship with his young niece who subsequently committed suicide at the age of 23. Many have also wondered if Geli could have changed the course of history if their relationship survived the rumours, jealousy and innuendo.
The play is centred on Geli and Hitler's relationship and the rumours of infidelity created by Himmler (Jonathon Harris) and Goebbels (Ben Byrne), which paves the way for Eva Braun (Simone Bergamin). Himmler and Goebbels set about planting seeds of doubt, fuelling Hitler with jealousy and mistrust that eventually leads to the breakdown of their relationship and brings about Geli's demise.
Hitler and half-niece Geli
Kelley Kerr Young plays Geli and she is undoubtedly the show's saving grace. Young delivered her lines with conviction and was a natural. However, the chemistry between Matthew Richard Walsh, who played Hitler, and Young, often felt clunky and awkward. There were moments when the duo meshed on stage making the play easier to delve into.
Condello's play is the highly poetic and it is clear it was influenced by Shakespeare - however, I feel simpler dialogue would have made for a more fluid narrative and helped with the overall flow of the play. The underlying story is interesting and I definitely walked away with a lot of new facts, however, the execution lacked the momentum it required. Overacting, exaggerated moves and dialogue made what could have been a very moving and thought-provoking play somewhat lacklustre.