Fringe: A timely reminder of historical horrors

A young woman rescues a drowning man on a beach in South America and the ensuing conversation between the two reveals the true nature of the man – and why he is what he is.

This is not a play about the well documented mass murder and experimental atrocities committed by Josef Mengele, it is about the man Mengele. Why he became what he became.

Tim Marriott plays Mengele perfectly, if you can believe it there is a fleeting moment of sympathy for Mengele, quite an astonishing achievement from Marriott. If you go to this show with no knowledge of the holocaust it is only the day light on leaving the theatre that reveals Mengele’s thought process was repugnant and evil.

But while in the theatre, devoid of the knowledge, Marriott builds a logical and coherent argument for what Mengele did. Thank heavens for the daylight!

Throughout the conversation the aged Mengele interweaves contemporary political narrative and voices into his justification for his past. This is not a political play, it is a warning.

I had a chat with Marriott after the production and he told me that when promoting the play by handing out leaflets he remembers two quotes from members of the public he spoke to: ‘This is the Fringe, this shouldn’t be at the Fringe.’ and ‘The numbers about the holocaust are exaggerated.’

My reply is, ‘Yes it should be at the Fringe.’ and ‘You are ignoring the past and therefore the warning.’ My advice to both would be, ‘Go see the show.’

Mengele, The Blue Room, Assembly, 12.05pm.

[review rating=”4″ align = “left”]