Margo: Half Woman, Half Beast review at Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh – ‘moving personal drama’
Many artists have attempted to capture on stage the essence of cabaret during the Weimar Republic in Germany. Rather than simply performing a selection of songs from the period, Melinda Hughes has created a one-woman show that offers a first-hand account of the fall of Berlin to Hitler and the Nazi regime. Performing as Margo Lion, a Berlin-based French cabaret singer, Hughes mixes a selection of classic and original numbers around an observational monologue.
Margo, best known for her role as Pirate Jenny in Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill’s Threepenny Opera, was also one of Marlene Dietrich’s lovers, but developed a special attachment to lyricist Marcellus Schiffer. Hughes populates her monologue with all these characters and more as she details the decadent arts scene and its clashes with the burgeoning right wing.
Accompanied by Michael Roulston on keyboard and Alana Dawes on double bass, Hughes performs numbers by Schiffer and his composer Mischa Spoliansky, interspersed with original pieces, written by herself and composer Jeremy Limb. It’s a testament to Limb and Hughes’ compositional style that its difficult to discern which are original numbers, but that also speaks volumes for the Weimar classics, the lyrics of which seem equally resonant today.
We need your help…
When you subscribe to The Stage, you’re investing in our journalism. And our journalism is invested in supporting theatre and the performing arts.
The Stage is a family business, operated by the same family since we were founded in 1880. We do not receive government funding. We are not owned by a large corporation. Our editorial is not dictated by ticket sales.
We are fully independent, but this means we rely on revenue from readers to survive.
Help us continue to report on great work across the UK, champion new talent and keep up our investigative journalism that holds the powerful to account. Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue.