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Dietrich – Natural Duty transfers to Wilton’s Music Hall

Dietrich - Natural Duty Peter Groom - Photo by Matt Jamie
Dietrich – Natural Duty Peter Groom – Photo by Matt Jamie

A sold-out hit at VAULT Festival, Dietrich – Natural Duty, a breathtaking mix of theatre, cabaret and drag transfers to Wilton’s Music Hall.

It is 1942, on the battlefields of North Africa.
In a gold sequin gown, Hollywood star Marlene Dietrich takes to the stage to launch her own offensive against the German Reich.

For the next three years, she would fight the war her way, with an irresistible mix of songs, sequins, sex and sympathy.

An intoxicating mix of theatre, cabaret and drag, this new one-(wo)man show by Peter Groom, was a total sell-out for VAULT Festival 2018. It now transfers to Wilton’s Music Hall, 1 Graces Alley, London, E1 8JB, from Monday 19 to Saturday 24 November. Press night: Monday 19 November at 7.45pm

Dietrich – Natural Duty uses music, stories and songs – including Falling in Love Again, Lili Marlene, Where Have All the Flowers Gone?, Boys in the Backroom, Lola – to reveal a Hollywood icon’s extraordinary commitment to duty.

This real-life tale of a legend takes us through the Weimar Republic, the Golden age of Hollywood, the Rise of Hitler, a world on the edge of collapse, and a long journey back to Berlin where it all began.

Born in Berlin in 1901, Marie Magdalene “Marlene” Dietrich soon became a Hollywood legend and the most famous German woman in the world. However, when World War II was declared, she was forced to choose between the country that she loved, and what she knew was right. Renouncing her German citizenship, Dietrich joined the American Army and fought against her homeland in order to free her people from Hitler. With an American smile and Prussian discipline, she would entertain GIs in an evening dress, then put on a combat uniform and head to the front.

As our political landscape becomes more polarised this timely story of duty asks questions about our own moral and ethical obligations, and explores how the fight for freedom can take many forms; whether in a sequin gown, combat uniform or as a man in a wig.

Peter Groom said: “I’m keen to dissect the use of drag in theatre and explore a way in which drag becomes not just a novelty but an important device/tool in order to help tell a story.

Peter Groom is an actor, dancer and choreographer working mainly with dance and theatre. Graduating Guildford School of Acting in 2013, he has worked both the UK and internationally (dance credits include:One Side to the Other Akram Khan Company, acting credits include: MEAT Schaubuhne Berlin, Romeo and Juliet and Sherlock Holmes Aquila Theatre, New York).

Alongside this he began to create his own devised work. Peter has been supported as artist in residence at Battersea Arts Centre, received commissions from IdeasTap, Royal Philharmonic Society, Random Acts, and is currently Associate Choreographic Dance Maker at DanceCity, Newcastle for 2016/17. Peter’s latest work Go Away Johnny, funded by Arts Council England, premiered at DanceCity, Newcastle in March 2017 and will tour nationally in late 2018. Peter started working as a drag performer in 2016 with performances at Battersea Arts Centre, The Glory and Royal Vauxhall Tavern. He writes his own material, a mixture of spoken word, comedy and song parodies.

5-star “A triumphant portrayal of a most colourful lifeReview

Created and performed by Peter Groom
Co-written and directed by Oliver Gully
Costume design by Kathleen Nellis
Lighting design by Fraser Craig
Sound design by Kieran Lucas
Hair by WigChapel
Produced by Jimmy Jewell

Dietrich – Natural Duty
Created and performed by Peter Groom
Co-written and Directed by Oliver Gully
Monday 19 to Saturday 26 November

Monday – Thursday & Saturday at 7.45pm
Friday at 6.30pm and 8.30pm
Thursday & Saturday at 3.00pm
Press Night: Monday 19 November at 7.45pm

Running time: 60 minutes
Suitable for ages 12+

Wilton’s Music Hall
1 Graces Alley
(pedestrian access only)
London, E1 8JB

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