Monday 6 February 2023

The Little Underground Theatre

Stage, Woman, Curtain, Silhuettes

Will that be the title of Schellberg 7?


This is the way my ground work on the story about the German resistance is taking me.

Imagine the place: it is the cellar of a bar in the artist’s quarter of Munich. It has the atmosphere of a speakeasy and is originally an underground jazz bar.  We have to remember that the Nazis hated jazz. It was considered degenerate. However, they did not ban it completely until on 17 January 1942 when public and private dance events were finally prohibited. 

Yet here it is underground. Every night there is a cabaret. Gradually that begins to include short satirical sketches that ridicule Hitler and his crew. By day there is no sign of the little theatre. And even when it is in full swing it can be evacuated in seconds.

Young people are gradually involved and that includes Gabriela’s niece, Anika, with a connection to Schellberg 1 and Schellberg 5.

Schwabing was and is the artists’ quarter in Munich. It did go a little quiet during the Nazi time but in this story there will still be something going on, thanks to Tante Gabriela. There are memorials now in Schwabing to the White Rose movement, which Gabriela will have an interest in and also to Georg Elser, who made a failed attempt to assassinate Hitler in the Bürgerkeller beer hall in 1939.  A light installation on Georg-Elser-Platz square is switched on every night at 9:20 p.m. to this day to commemorate the latter.

Is Gabriela’s theatre one that led to the Münchner Lach- und Schießgesellschaft (a political cabaret theatre founded by Sammy Drechsel and Dieter Hildebrandt in 1956)?

The Nazis banned works by certain playwrights but Shakespeare was allowed. Could Tante  Gabriela and Anika twist a Shakespeare play and use it as resistance?   


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