REVIEW: A Nazi Comparison (Waterloo East Theatre) ★★

A Nazi Comparison is an original piece from Craft Theatre, inspired by Schlageter by Hans Johst and its expression of Nazi ideology set against current events. Craft Theatre began as a research initiative to develop actor training and developed into a rep company known for its physical and ensemble work.

The show follows Clare, a university student recognising the manipulation in the media that makes her question her view of the world. Consumed by her desire to know more and understand who the ‘bad guys’ really are, she tumbles into a world far from her friends and family who are confused by her views. Seeking understanding, she finds common ground with a group holding extreme views and becomes part of a dangerous plan.

The young cast perform with energy, bounding on and off the stage, carrying props with them and even becoming props themselves. Aside from Clare, all the actors play multiple roles, engaging with her on her journey as her anger grows stronger. Some of the characters are better developed than others and some would have benefited from more stage time. There are some moments of comedy that lighten the mood while adding to the plot development. The performance is very active and visual (sit close to the front for the full effect but avoid the very front row).

The play raises lots of interesting issues but does not explore any of them in enough depth. Clare’s mother is set up to hold an alternative world view but fails to challenge her daughter in a realistic way, missing an opportunity for Clare to back up her arguments. Instead she shouts angrily at her parent who she dismisses as failing to understand. It seems strange that a play that seeks to challenge confirmation bias presents a very one sided view of the world.

Reviewed by Rhiannon Evans