Yorkshire, known for its Dales, Emmerdale, Last of the Summer Wine and Tea. Yet, a meeting place used by Hitler and his Cronies to regroup? No, not so much. We watch as Ay Up, Hitler is set “down the pub” with an array of Yorkshire accents, lots of warm beer drunk (mimed) and donning the flat cap. Writer David McCulloch has certainly put the Ay Up into Hitler.
Himmler (Michael Grist), Goebbels (Marcus Churchill) and Goring (McCulloch) reconvene in a small village somewhere nestled in the Yorkshire countryside as they await the return of their leader Hitler (Peter McCrohon). Ready to rebrand and attempt a come back they feel it’s the right time to put the history books straight.
Hitler meets up with the newly generated Boris Johnson, another role performed by the talented Grist. The audience hears the lightning crashes and whirs of electricity as Johnson comes to life behind the screen, reminiscent of the scene from Frankenstein as the monster in Mary Shelley’s famous gothic novel comes to life.
Blundering and “buffooning” onto the stage waving two union jack flags and mumbling the odd words like “Brexit” and “vote” in a haphazard exaggerated manner as Johnson often does, it isn’t hard suspending your disbelief that he has just been assembled.
Joined by ex-US president Donald Trump (Hannah-Cait Harrison) Hitler is “treated” to this glorious meeting of minds with a baffled look on his face as you can see him questioning how these two men could get into power and lead their countries. These thought-provoking ideas led me to wonder how a powerful dictator would view these two rather character style politicians. Probably with bewilderment, disgust and a touch of ridicule.
Described in their programme as an “anarchic pantomime, in the worse possible taste” it is certainly a fitting description of what I have watched. There’s no mention of “he’s behind you” but there is a sort of pantomime dame on offer though.
They certainly won’t change anything historically. However, the cast offers humour, bad taste jokes and plenty of laughs throughout the hour-long production. Resident artistic director for Gamma Ray Theatre, Chris Hawley has bought yet another one of the company’s superb productions to stage.
Written by David McCulloch
Director Chris Hawley
For tour details please use the link below.