Kabarett der Namenlosen is the brainchild of Le Pustra, a performance artist originally from South Africa. On a visit to Berlin in 2012, he took a walking tour through Christopher Isherwood’s haunts in West Berlin. The tour guide mentioned the Kabarett der Namenlosen, a notorious open stage of the 1920s, where amateur performers were often reduced to tears by malicious audience members. Le Pustra was struck by the evocative name and after moving to Berlin, he set about creating a cabaret-theater piece around the idea of the nameless lost performers of the Weimar era.
Kabarett der Namenlosen
‘Kleine Nachtrevue’ challenges one’s preconceived notion that burlesque performances are tantalizing and negatively objectify its performers. I create images that display the comeback of this courageous performing art as a means of positive self-expression.
Berlin’s burlesque scene has its roots in the pre-World War I era when variety shows hinted at political satire and criticism. With the rise of National Socialism, burlesque days were numbered, and during the 1930’s many of its performers fled abroad. By the 1960s, burlesque lost its cutting edge and became absorbed into mainstream entertainment on television and strip clubs shows.
Within Berlin's Schoneberg district is a small performing arts theater called Kleine Nachtrevue. Nightly shows consist of short song or dance numbers sprinkled whimsical costumes. The performances are funny, acrobatic, thought provoking, rhythmic, sexy, and magical for both the audience and the performers.
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