Fabulett 1933 ★★★★

Fabulett 1933 is a poignant musical exploration of a fearful historical tipping point and its consequences.

Cabaret, as an artform, first sprouted in the late 1800s but reached full bloom in the 1920s. It was conceived as a rejection of the predominant entertainment forms of the time. Opera was overblown and elitist while musical hall was often a simplistic and populist nod to the masses. Cabaret was a bold, new hybrid, fusing the energy of popular entertainment with the intellectual underpinnings of traditional arts.
At the same time, youth in Berlin had become a high proportion of the population due to the loss of adult males in World War 1 and they were inclined to reject the idealised values and morality of previous generations. This created a perfect audience for the daring artform that was cabaret. Fabulett 1933 takes place, a little later, in the last days of the Weimer Republic in such a cabaret club, populated by the decadent and the deviant. Those who were about to be branded as degenerates as German society transformed beyond recognition with the rise of Nazism.
Photo by Edwin Louis

Michael Trauffer delivers a dedicated performance, and his commitment to the piece results in a level of authenticity that you don’t often see in a Fringe production. The piece opens with a video montage and Trauffer dressed as a German soldier and it does well to set the scene and transport the audience back to a world at war in the early 20th century. This makes his transformation into leather, PVC (and a crown) in the next scene all the more of an artistic journey for the onlooker, and seems to give a purposeful and tasteful nod to the Emcee from the musical Cabaret.

The story is informative as well as entertaining, touching on the advances in gay rights and gender realignment surgery which was being successfully carried out by the 1930’s in Germany, whilst comparing this to the invention of the electric toaster in the USA, at the time considered a much bigger advancement for the human race.   

The score and book is strong with good melodies and well-penned lyrics, and these are delivered with gusto by Trauffer. 

If you’re at the Fringe and want a show devoted to LGBT history then look no further than this creative portrayal of a snapshot in time, during one of the world’s most destructive and pivotal historic events.  

A visit to Fabulett 1933 is very much recommended – with ★ (4 stars) going to Michael Trauffer’s committed performance.

Fabulett 1933

Fabulett 1933 plays at theSpace @ Surgeons Hall Haldane Theatre until 27 August

Book Tickets