"an incredible one-man show...."
- PBS America
In 2012, I made a show about an actor forced into exile after the destruction of his theatre and the arrest of his friends by an brutal dictator. I called it ‘33(a kabarett). I wrote it inspired by the fate of the Eldorado Club in Berlin in 1933. The Eldorado had music, theatre and was a welcoming space for the LGBTQ community. The club was raided, taken over by the Nazis and used as a local headquarters. But, for my show, I took out any reference to the Nazis or the time or the place. I ended up performing it around the world, across the USA, in Europe, in Russia, in ex-Soviet states and three times in Ukraine.
At each performance, the audience would decide who was responsible for the attacks. It was humbling to talk to people after each performance as they explained to me who the play was referencing. I had thought it was history, but for those audiences it was relevant and immediate. Audiences in Eastern Europe, Russia and the ex-soviet states had no problem relating to the specter of a dictator who would cancel ideas and culture.
I never imagined, when I was hanging out with my new friends in Kiev and Chernihiv and Khmelnytskyy that their own amazing hopes and dreams would be under attack..
If you want to see more of the performance, filmed live in the beautiful Opera House of Chernihiv, a lovely, calm city which is currently being shelled by Russian forces, then you can watch it below.
Kiev was one of the most beautiful cities that I have visited. The people I met viewed themselves as part of Western Europe. They were aware of the problems in their country and assumed the slow movement of democratic change would fix those issues. All of them were deeply engaged in making change and creating a more free and just society. No subject was too dangerous to discuss and share.
There was no censorship or repression.
I have no idea of what Putin thinks he can do with these people, even if he did win. I’m terrified to think of how he’d enforce the same censorship currently in place in Russia. It would essentially be the Eldorado Kabarett all over again.
My friends in Ukraine have sent me these links to various charities: please help if you can.
Humanitarian aid - Caritas Ukraine
Medical care – “Viterets” Medical Rapid Response Team https://www.facebook.com/Rescue.breeze
Charity help veterans and the military - Safe Life https://www.facebook.com/backandalive
SINGING INTO THE DARK, 1933:
In the ruins of a theatre, after the performers are beaten and arrested by the authorities, one defiant actor attempts to perform the entire show.
Singing into The Dark, 1933 takes place in an imagined version of Berlin’s Eldorado Club after the rise of Hitler. In 1933, immediately after taking power, the Nazis attacked cultural workers, hoping to destroy ideas they deemed inappropriate and silence voices that might resist them. The first concentration camps, ‘re-education camps’, were set up for cultural workers, and became brutal spaces of punishment and murders.
When Herman Goering ordered theatres to close, the Eldorado Club (a home for alternative performance, and a welcoming space for the LGBTQ+ community) was raided, and performers dragged to the camps. The club was taken over and used as the local Nazi headquarters.
Boldly bringing to life the disappeared company, the actor shows us how celebration and humor are acts of resistance, and how we can fight oppression with fury and laughter, rage and delight.
The show runs 75 minutes without intermission. Bremner sings 9 songs from the era, either with live piano or small ensemble, or a specially-recorded backtrack.
For more information on 'Singing Into The Dark, 1933' visit http://singingintothedark.com/
Think that this is all just history? Imagine being in a modern country with a repressive government: Imagine you won a ticket to be in the audience at the taping of your favorite series. You love this show: it's crazy, rude, political, risky. It makes fun of authority and takes all the chances. Its John Oliver meets George Carlin meets RuPaul meets Dancing With The Stars. But when you arrive, something’s wrong. The doors are broken down, the studio in ruins, and the cast and crew missing. They finally crossed the line: insulted a powerful politician, spoke too much truth, and the Security Forces have taken them. Maybe they’re in prison, maybe even dead. But in front of you, staring at the empty stage, one camera remains upright, blinking green, live, broadcasting to the world. What do you choose to do?
Do you leave, run, and stay silent? Or go on camera, bear witness, speak the truth and risk your life?
Singing into The Dark, 1933 tells that story.
"laughter and jaw-dropping physicality... a must see."
-Theatre Jones, Dallas
"an incredible one-man show....brilliant acting."
- PBS America
"he will have you close to tears one moment and laughing the next - an absolute joy to watch."
- New Orleans Defender Magazine
"Fletcher... is utterly arresting as the vanquished impresario of a ruined cabaret"
"Fletcher’s vocal and acting chops are both incredibly impressive, covering everything from a crass comedy routine to mournful songs of loss and desperation. The result is an entire variety show of undeniable entertainment."
- Vue Magazine, Canada
"a truly mesmerizing piece of theatre"
- Edmonton Journal
"...it’s all really quite beautiful to behold. Shows like this don’t happen very often, folks."
- The Visitorium, Canada
"A gem of a show"
- Orlando Sentinel
" And my god, does he ever sing. Bremner's performance is jaw-dropping-my jaw literally dropped"
- View Magazine, Canada
Singing Into The Dark, 1933 has been performed hundreds of times in spaces that range from small theatres in the back of a bar with two lights and a boombox and right up to 800 seat mainstage opera houses.
Bring it to your space: