Natural Duty @ Wilton’s Music Hall*

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Tickets and more information: https://www.wiltons.org.uk/whatson/476-dietrich-natural-duty
Booking until: 24th November 2018
Production Photos by: Monier El Haimar

Fresh from acclaimed runs at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and at The Vaults Festival, Peter Groom’s one (wo)man show about Hollywood legend Marlene Dietrich has taken a pit stop at Wilton’s Music Hall, ahead of runs in New York, Adelaide and the UK over the next year. Natural Duty is the story of how the German actress became Hollywood royalty and when the time came to enlist in World War II, she had to choose between fighting for her home country or the country that became her home.

Peter Groom in Dietrich Natural Duty

In a show that is dubbed as part cabaret, theatre and drag, Peter Groom gives a spectacular performance as Marlene. Dressed head to toe in sparkles, the audience is held in Marlene’s hand the entire time. Performing with a soft and subtle voice, Groom’s ability to deliver heartbreak and pain one minute while cracking a sexual joke the next was mesmerising to watch. The show is interluded with other characters who appear via voice recordings off stage which gave context to the life Marlene Dietrich lived including a very emotive phone call to her mother and an argument with a piano player at an audition. Another interjection came from a recorded voice from a reporter gatecrashing her performance, in a way, asking Marlene questions about her life. In a way, this felt a little bit clunky and didn’t really flow with the piece that well as it took the audience away from Marlene’s history. However, this didn’t take away from how brilliant the piece is overall, I just felt it possibly wasn’t all that needed.

Peter Groom As Marlene Dietrich in DIETRICH NATURAL DUTY Photo by Veronika Marx small version

Overall, a wonderful evening of entertainment written and delivered in a fab performance by Peter Groom that is so engaging and mesmerising, the 60 minute run time absolutely flew by. Definitely a must see. especially if you’re new to drag shows like me.

Until next time,

hayley-sprout-transparent

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