Mephisto is the real-life drama based on the book by German writer Klauss Mann. The main themes of the performance are integrity and loyalty; the protagonist’s choice of whether he should express his political views or hide behind the characters he plays. Set in the 1930s just before Hitler’s rise to power, the play opens with the story of a young actor, who, although insecure, temperamental and self-centered, finds himself becoming the star of the Berlin Theatre. His thirst for fame and major roles causes him to turn his back on his past political sympathies.
At the offset, he is portrayed as a communist sympathizer, left wing anti-Nazi Jew. He and his friend Otto want to somehow use their shows to influence an audience and change the current political agenda. Yet, he sells his soul to the devil and becomes a puppet of the new order.
Show Within A Show
The show will take you on a journey of emotions; surprising and funny in places, yet some scenes will fill you with anger and frustration at the main character, Hendrik Höfgen, who refuses to believe the severity of the new Nazi regime. Don’t be surprised if you fall in love with some of the scantily clad dancers and enjoy some intriguing love-making scenes.
It is a show within a show as you follow young Höfgen’s dramatic outbursts and rise to fame, where he eventually becomes the Director of the National Theatre in Berlin. He leaves behind a wife, his lover and other close friends. And when it comes down to dealing with the reality of the disintegration of Europe and the loss of his friends, on his lips is just one defense, ‘Well, I am just an actor.’
The decorum in the entrance to the theatre is not like the West End or Broadway, but don’t let that fool you. You will be in for a thoroughly enjoyable performance, with smooth scenery changes, beautiful costumes and intriguing and talented actors.
Cameri Theater, Sderot Sha’ul HaMelech 19, Tel Aviv, Israel, +972 3 606 0960