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Dietrich: Natural Duty

From 10 critic and 34 member reviews
Members say: Absorbing, Great acting, Great singing, Intelligent, Entertaining

About the show

In Peter Groom's one-(wo)man cabaret show, it's 1942, on the battlefields of North Africa, where Marlene Dietrich takes the stage to fight the war her way, with a mix of songs, sequins, sex, and sympathy.  More…

Part of Soho Playhouse's 2018 Fringe Encore Series.

GScene Magazine

for a previous production "It would be wrong to call it an impersonation. That doesn’t do justice to the subtle, nuanced delicacy of his languid, sensuous portrayal of the singer and film star...Peter is Marlene- a faultless performance of thoughtfulness...His stunning portrayal will introduce a whole new generation to the immortal Marlene." Full Review

A Younger Theatre

for a previous production "A one-(wo)man performance of potency, power, and punch...Groom gives a glorious, highly authentic performance...The performance itself dynamically showcases snippets of Marlene’s narrative as it weds song with soliloquy, sorrow with sass, history and heroism...Culminating with an earth-quaking speech riddled with the ugliness of fowl experience...A multifaceted, truly marvellous show with a stupendous actor at its head. It is definitely one not to be missed." Full Review

The Gay UK

for a previous production "Groom’s take on legendary teutonic beauty Marlene Dietrich is literally breathtaking at points...He captures every wink, every drag on a cigarette, and each sultry gaze. There’s something uncanny about his appearance...Groom has written a witty show with a touch of pathos based around Dietrich’s wartime experiences...Not only is Groom a fabulous mimic, but he’s also a deft and skilled writer as the script lurches between camp comedy and deep sadness...An absolute tour de force." Full Review

London Theatre1

for a previous production "Groom’s Dietrich came across as a breath of fresh air, unafraid to tell it like it is. I particularly liked the frank and perceptive observations about the acting profession. The lack of sentimentality was, truth be told, quite marvellous...Groom has an excellent stage presence, and the rapport with the audience was warm and positive throughout. A poignant and provocative production, this show oozes passion. A triumphant portrayal of a most colourful life." Full Review

British Theatre Guide

for a previous production "The show is constructed in the form of a concert of Dietrich’s most famous songs interspersed with insights into her life but very much from her perspective. Beautifully acted, this is as close to meeting Dietrich in real life as you would probably get...This is a mesmerising performance from a consummate entertainer about an enigmatic performer who will always remain a little mysterious—but no less alluring for that. A must see." Full Review


for a previous production "An intoxicating cabaret...An eclectic event that is sure to excite...Groom brightens up the room with their effervescence...Groom takes his time, moving with an absolute precision and this level of character depth is wonderful to witness...Groom hits every note and demonstrates an impressive vocal range, whilst also using the tracks as a method to tell the story of Dietrich's adventurous life...It's funny, charming and its delicate creation makes it a show not to be missed." Full Review

ActDrop UK

for a previous production "Groom provides an authentic and mesmerisingly glamorous impersonation of the film and stage star in both his consummate delivery of a considerable number of her much-loved songs, as well as recounting extraordinary events from her life story...Groom and his director, Gully, certainly bring us authenticity in the costume department as well as in the well-chosen and well-sung songs. A riveting and well-honed performance that offers real insights into an icon." Full Review

Live Theatre UK

for a previous production "It’s well-written, delivered with panache and has a serious moral core...Groom holds attention...and doesn’t let it go for a second in the next 60 minutes...Groom and Gully have realised that this isn’t a paint-by-numbers biopic, and it’s a 60 minute show. So the bulk of the material concerns Marlene’s war work...It’s also arrestingly performed. Groom commands the stage and is the essence of Dietrich. The songs are simply and affectingly performed." Full Review

Theatre Review NYC

for a previous production "An intoxicating mix of theatre, cabaret, and drag...Groom as Marlene exuded well deserved confidence. He comfortably held the audience and created a vivid and dimensional character...At a compact and well used 60 minutes, this show is the ideal length for a one (wo)man performance and keeps the audience engaged throughout. It’s a well crafted piece of theatre that sits comfortably in its current environment." Full Review

The Stage (UK)

for a previous production "It would probably be more apt to describe Peter Groom as an illusionist rather than a drag queen...The Marlene we saw live on stage was an illusion...Groom succinctly captures the essence of Dietrich’s manufacture...Beneath the lipstick and powder, Groom articulates the horrors of the war and captures its brutal devastation...Dietrich’s colourful private life may be studiously overlooked, but this period is explored with honesty, humour and class." Full Review

Absorbing, Masterful, Must see, Great staging, All around amazing

See it if you like Marlene Dietrich or want to learn more about her and listen to some of her very best songs performed very much like Marlene did.

Don't see it if you don't like 1-man shows or small cabaret settings.

Also I love everything about Marlene Dietrich and didn't know what to expec... Read more Read less

Delightful, Great acting, Must see, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if If you like Dietrich you may/ like the show. In a small Cabaret setting. Tell us a little bit about her alot more of her war time.

Don't see it if If you don't like a Cabaret setting or you don't like Dietrich.

Also Sounded alot like her plus with mannerisms too, with the way body move... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Masterful, Must see

See it if You are a fan of Marlene Dietrich, and/or love pitch perfect one person theatre. Truly an incredible performance.

Don't see it if You have no sense of culture, or like seeing what lies beneath the surface of a legend.

Also Peter Groom is a marvel to witness in this profoundly focused, nuanced... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Enchanting, Great acting, Must see, Great singing

See it if You want to see an amazing cabaret/play, best 60 minutes with amazing repoirtere, over the top singing, acting by a drag. Kudos!!!

Don't see it if If you arent a fan of one man show,drag show,cabaret style theater,small theater, bare bone stage, not into story based on historical person

Also A must see!!!! You will not regret this.... Read more Read less

Stunning talent, intimate venue, extraordinary

See it if you will enjoy a mind-blowing performance offering an extraordinary retrospective on Dietrich's life, with Peter Groom inhabiting her body.

Don't see it if You will not enjoy a non-glitzy performance, do not like drag, or are not a fan of Dietrich. But, seriously, this was a fantastic show!

Also Groom is stunning with absolutely bewitching eyes and captures Dietric... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Clever, Delightful, Enchanting, Entertaining

See it if You Luke intriguing cabaret

Don't see it if You have no interest in the story of the protagonist..

Absorbing, Great acting, Must see, Great singing

See it if You are intrigued by watching an incredibly talented performer embody the legendary Marlene Dietrich for just over an hour.

Don't see it if A one woman/man show mixing songs and the life of Marlene Dietrich in an intimate theater doesn’t appeal to you.

Also Peter Groom gives an amazing performance. Despite what you would expec... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Enchanting, Great acting, Entertaining, This brilliantly accurate impersonation is a must see for any dietrich fan.

See it if Not just the voice and the costume, but every look, every gesture, every movement is astonishingly spot on; so if you're a fan, pounce!

Don't see it if If you don't know about the divine Marlene, spend some time with Google and YouTube, then you may deserve to see this amazing performance.

Absorbing, Intelligent, Masterful, Great singing

See it if You like Marlene Dietrich, cabaret music, sparkly dresses, expressionistic makeup, WWII history, or classic Hollywood.

Don't see it if You hate drag performers? Honestly, this thing is a delight start to finish, so I'm having a tough time finding a reason to not see it.

Delightful, Riveting, Ingenious, Meticulous, Economical

See it if you appreciate classic drag (Marlene, icon) and structural inventiveness. There are times when you feel like Dietrich herself is present.

Don't see it if you have an issue with stairs. You'll need to climb up to get to the theater then climb down to get to the performance space. Otherwise, go.

Also Memorable Line: "Falling in love again / Never wanted to / What am I t... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Masterful, Entertaining

See it if for the phenomenal performance of an illusion within an illusion. A man playing a woman, an actor recreating a legend. And bits of history.

Don't see it if If you dislike solo shows, the stylized singing of Marlene Dietrich or basement club settings

Enchanting, Entertaining

See it if You are a fan of Marlene Dietrich, are interested in movie and World War II history

Don't see it if You dislike one person and short productions. (this show was only about one hour long.)

Also Very interesting story about part of her life. Peter Groom was great i... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great acting, Masterful, Great writing, Great singing

See it if You love DIETRICH. A lovely bittersweet piece delicately handled. Her gown is magnificent so sit close.

Don't see it if If you’re looking for a happy little romp.

Gripping, Moving, Subtle, Instructive

See it if you have any interest in Dietrich or World War II.

Don't see it if you do not like solo shows, or are expecting a feel-good drag show: this is highly enjoyable, but sobering.

Also This is a perfect show of its kind. Peter Groom, understanding how sub... Read more Read less

Great acting, Intense, Resonant, Compelling, Intimate

See it if Virtuoso performance. Not just MD's style but her values & motivations. Her real character is even more compelling than her stage character.

Don't see it if You don't like solo autobiographies. You are not interested in an intimate view of a person of integrity who lived to inspire others.

Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Intelligent, Great singing

See it if You're a fan of Dietrich. He nails her totally, Voice, look, mannerisms. You really think you're seeing Deitrich

Don't see it if you don't like drag impersonators or are looking for a full on production show

Absorbing, Intelligent, Entertaining, Stunning performance, Terrific makeup, costume & concept

See it if You're a fan of Marlene Dietrich—or have no idea who she was. A terrifically conceived and realized presentation of a unique woman and star.

Don't see it if No reason not to unless low budget bios bore—even if exceptional & exceptionally well and seamlessly done by a fine young actor/performer.

Also Peter Groom is totally engaging, compelling and easily as seductive as... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great acting, Riveting, Great singing, One man (as a woman) show

See it if Peter Groom is spellbinding as the film/cabaret legend. Go if you want to see an amazing performance.

Don't see it if You don’t like one person shows. If you are indifferent to Hollywood’s golden age. If you expect a tawdry rather than respectful portrayal.

Also For about three quarters of it, I was captivated. Groom’s performance ... Read more Read less

Great acting, Intelligent, Resonant

See it if A brief glimpse at the background and career of a great Hollywood icon. See it if you are interested in knowing more about her.

Don't see it if You find the material and time period dated, its 1930's and 1940's, or are not curious about Marlene Dietrich's background.

Absorbing, Intelligent, Entertaining

See it if Detailed impersonation of the German romantic legend.Time spent on relections of wartime performance and That Face. Best--spoken/sung German

Don't see it if Act built around the gown. Solo show. 65 min. Gen. Adm. Act framed by interview structure. Cabaret.

Also Title refers to obligation to country and to Hollywood.

Enchanting, Great acting, Intelligent, Resonant, Great singing

See it if you like good cabaret acts based on famous actresses, brought to great representation by a perfectionist artist with memorable songs & story

Don't see it if you expect more than what a one-person performance can offer with canned voice and sound to accompany the role with aging costume and makeup

Absorbing, Intelligent, Resonant, Entertaining

See it if you want to see a mesmerizing reimagining of Marlene Dietrich talking about her life and singing the songs she is identified with.

Don't see it if you do not enjoy one person shows or are not interest in this Hollywood legend.

Absorbing, Clever, Quirky, Riveting, Great writing

See it if You want to see a one man/woman USO tribute. The songs are riveting. Dialogue about the war is too.

Don't see it if You do not like drag shows about tribute queens.

Absorbing, Clever, Riveting, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if You are familiar with Marlene Dietrich and you enjoy a one person show

Don't see it if You don't like one person shows, you're looking for a linear story, as opposed to a character study

Intelligent, Intense, Riveting, Great performance

See it if you're interested in Hllywd legends. Dietr comes to life to tell her story/beautifully sing her songs...while looking gorgeous. Approx 65+ m

Don't see it if you dislike solo shows/intimate settings.Could use more biog'l details. Maybe add 10m of info? Still, show is enchanting w/assured perf.

Cast & Creatives (2)