Kabarett der Namenlosen: Back in Berlin for First Time in 90 Years
By Andrew Cottrill . February 23, 2016
For the first time in 90 years, Kabarett der Namenlosen will return to Berlin. Helmed by muse and master of passion, whimsy and sorrow, Le Pustra (Mr. Pustra, to you), Berlin’s darkest cabaret show will be resurrected between the 3rd-5th of March at Ballhaus Berlin. We spoke to Le Pustra about his upcoming show.
“Leave your inhibitions at the door and welcome to the Kabarett der Namenlosen, Berlin’s most deliciously notorious and nocturnal ‘Salon-style Cabaret’. Enter a forbidden underworld of scandal, intrigue, self indulgence and celebrate the grotesque and bizarre. Immerse yourself in a faded decadent “mise-en-scène” and dance the night away with the Beautiful and the Damned.”
The original Kabarett der Namenlosen was like a ’20s version of (sorry, Mr. Pustra!) X Factor auditions. You tune in to watch wide-eyed as dreams are broken and illusions are shattered. Car-crash entertainment. The show’s creator, Erich ‘Elow’ Lowinsky, would place adverts in local newspapers searching for live acts and new talent, and select only the worst of the worst to perform on the night. Exploitation at its darkest. These were The Nameless.
“Elow would promise these hapless souls fame and fortune, but would ultimately trick them so they were to be humiliated on stage by unforgiving audiences, baying for fresh blood…”
After putting on three Kabarett der Namenlosen shows in the UK, Le Pustra decided the disreputable cabaret in Berlin needed to return home.
“In 2015, I ended up moving to Berlin and I met with Else Edelstahl, producer of Germany’s most popular 1920s event, Bohème Sauvage, with the idea to bring this show to Berlin as the city does not really offer any Weimar-era shows. It belongs here and, as Berlin is experiencing a rebirth culturally, what better time to debut this show?”
Le Pustra’s Kabarett der Namenlosen will re-create Weimar-era Berlin, but differ from the original Kabarett der Namenlosen by hosting a full programme of beautiful and surreal entertainment.
“The programme shall include beautiful and surreal imagined vignettes, performances from strange bon vivants, scandalous flickers, a set design with a decaying elegance and selected songs from Frederick Hollander, Mischa Spoliansky, Willy Rosen, Philip Glass and poetry by Kurt Tucholsky.”
There will be lush, decadent and haunting performances from Le Pustra’s friends and fellow bon viveurs including Bridge Markland performing as Weimar nude dancer, Anita Berber, clown and cabaret singer Miss Annabel Sings, Parisien performer and pianist extraordinaire, Charly Voodoo, and, to add glamour to the winter gloom, performances from the gorgeous and very naughty flamed-haired Lada Redstar and the gazelle-like Mama Ulita from Leipzig.
And what of die Namenlosen? Well, that’s us, the audience, who Le Pustra will make into part of the show… for his dark entertainment, if not our own.
The show is being held at Ballhaus Berlin, a venue (opened in 1905) whose iconic lamp-lit numbered tables, each connected via telephone, and lush, extravagant and deeply seductive surroundings make it the perfect match for Le Pustra’s show.
“I have such wonderful support from my peers with Kabarett der Namenlosen, including Hendrick’s Gin who share and supports my artistic vision as an artist. So come the Kabarett (as they say). And wear your best frock.”