Thursday, June 08, 2006

Fascists and Football Hit the Stage

Der Spiegel writes of a new stage play ...

His secret weapon never materialized, but would Hitler have won World War II if he had staged a World Cup? That's the premise of a new comedy now playing in a Hamburg theater. The play breaks through taboos, but it has a serious side as well.

...Indeed, the play, called "Mein Ball: A German Dream," has stirred up a measure of controversy. Some theatergoers have stomped out of Hamburg's Schauspielhaus, where it is playing through the end of June. Others have booed throughout the production. Hardly surprising perhaps. After all, "Mein Ball" tramples on some big taboos. Not only is it among the first German theater productions to turn Hitler into comedy, something that would have been unthinkable until a few years ago. But it also pokes fun at football, a sport that enjoys near-sacred status in Germany. The play's very plot -- Hitler planning a World Cup tournament to salvage his empire -- is a dig at the hopes Germans have pinned on this year's World Cup tournament, which kicks off on Friday.

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