Fun, sex and suspicious audience members, Bernie Dieter’s Berlin underground gives us all of that and more. Laced with comedic songs, hula hoops and stripping, Dieter and her crew of performers will have you enraptured from start to finish.
Upon walking in, a suspiciously good looking trio are sat on the stage, interacting with each other and, sometimes, audience members. Scantily clad and dangerously sexy, the introduction is just a prelude as to what the audience has signed up for. Dieter herself comes waltzing into the spotlight and juggles the task of singing and zeroing in on an unsuspecting, moustached audience member. As was warned in the synopsis, nobody is safe from audience participation in Berlin’s underground.
Weaved between acts of brilliance comes Dieter’s quick and witty banter, both shown in song and in casual talk. There’s an instant connection with her character and a warmth about her cheekiness and confidence.
Throughout the show, we are adorned with a variety of circus acts, opening with the fabulously unique Ben Brown as he bends and spins his way around an aerial hoop. He is then followed by the well-known hula hoop queen, Lisa Lottie, whose command of a hoop will have you sat back in awe. Our third act is an undoubtedly captivating Jao, who literally strips away the stigma surrounding pole dancers and performs one of the most enchanting and seductive routines I’ve ever seen. Finally, we are joined by Jonathan Finch-Brown, who blows us away with his combination of skills and sultry presence on the stage.
I would love to have (perhaps selfishly) seen more than an hour of this show and more interaction or narrative between the performers. Dieter opens up to us at the end about her experience with lockdown and Covid-19 in the past year, which was a beautiful and heartfelt moment amongst all the excitement.
All in all, if you love the undeniable thrill of the circus and find yourself curious about Dieter’s Weimer-punk jazz band, you don’t want to miss out on a trip to the Berlin Underground.
It runs until 29 August. Tickets: here.
Review: Bibi Lucille