• Amy Toledano

Hitler's Tasters, Greenside, Infirmary Street, Olive Studio

Image courtesy of Cody Butcher

What Is It?

Just when you thought you knew every disgusting thing about Adolf Hitler, Hitler's Tasters exposes the horrific treatment of the young women who were forced to risk their lives every night, testing Hitler's food to make sure it wasn't poisoned.

What Is It All About?

Hilda (MaryKatherine Kopp), Leisel (Hallie Griffin) and Anna (Kaitlin Paige Longoria) are the fine young women who have the honour of being tasters. All plucked off the street, the three of them spend their days in a room waiting for the food to arrive.

Hilda, the daughter of a powerful and important alley of their leader, is the most staunch in her beliefs, not hesitating to pull up the other girls on any anti-nazi behaviour.

Leisel is proud of her position but is also, naturally, frightened of the consequences. Anna, the more gentle of the three is scared, and slips up often when reminiscing about the time before the war, and the friends she once had that were Jewish.

The three often fight, as girls do, and spend majority of their time taking selfies on their phones and envying each other for their good looks. But they cannot predict what is going to happen from one moment to the next, and this show builds hope in the audience, then rips it away when we least expect it.

How Did It Make Me Feel?

This show is an incredibly clever and brutal rendition of the experience of these young women. Based on historical events, writer Michelle Kholos Brooks creates a familiar scenario, that includes contemporary themes and elements, and transports us to the one of the most terrifying times in our history.

One of the most horrifying things that the audience is continually reminded of is the fact that these young women, could be any of us. We know them, the hopeful and bright women who spend time making themselves beautiful and taking selfies, the ones who love to laugh and dance. The direction by Sarah Norris is absolutely spot on, with movement motifs that reoccur throughout, and contemporary music that reminds us that these events are not ancient, and that history loves to repeat itself.

The cast are fantastic, particularly MaryKatherine Kopp, who plays a "mean girl nazi" with real depth and naivety that has the audience liking her in spite of themselves.

Hannah Mae Sturges, who plays the late addition to the team Margot also brings an innocence and spark to the piece that is gorgeous.

The show takes on an almost Spring Awakening vibe, expressing the heightened emotions of these women, their unfailing devotion to their leader and the horror of their acceptance of what they have been told to do.

Anything Else?

Completely different to anything I have seen at this year's Fringe, the show is a complicated journey that challenges the audiences' ideals of those who followed their leader blindly and brings a whole new point of view to the story we know, of Nazi Germany.

Amy x

Hitler's Tasters is playing at Greenside, Infirmary Street, Olive Studio, until the 24th August 2019.

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