Why See Watch on the Rhine?
Lillian Hellman's groundbreaking drama
Lillian Hellman's comedy-noir first premiered in 1941 perfectly demonstrated her pioneering activism, winning the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award in the same year. A political thriller with a moral moral obligation, it explores the concept of sacrifice and American values, whilst combining black humor and insidious Nazi corruption within the States itself. The safety of one man and his family is under threat thanks to a Nazi sympathiser, who attempts blackmail - they are faced with a moral dilemma to put the greater good ahead of one life.
Set in 1940s Washington D.C, matriarch Fanny Farrelly is awaiting the arrival of her daughter Sara, her German husband Kurt, and their children. They have fled Europe for the safety of the States, due to Kurt's role as a prominent anti-Nazi resistance member.
A timely play that was ahead of its time
However, their relative security is threatened almost immediately by Fanny's other houseguest, a deposed Romanian count who happens to be a Nazi supporter. Discovering Kurt's identity and his actions in Europe, he attempts to blackmail the family into exposing Kurt and leaving his family to the mercy of fellow Nazis. Kurt murders the count, and decides to travel back to Europe to help his fellow comrades, unable to reconcile his safety with the danger faced by the Resistance in Europe.
Opening night: 30 September 2017
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