A night of Kurt Weill songs:
Written from his exile in Paris and then America, a night of Kurt Weill songs has been on offer at this year’s Festival. Katharine Mehrling and Barrie Kosky from Berlin have formed a very successful musical partnership that brought their show Lonely House to the tent at the Old Quad in Edinburgh.
Best known for his work with Bertolt Brecht during the time of the Weimar Republic in Germany Weill’s later work for musicals on Broadway, and his French cabaret songs are sometimes overlooked, overshadowed by his more famous works, such as The Threepenny Opera, and the The Rise and Fall of Mahagonny.
The songs in Lonely House are chosen to form a theme of regret, memories, loneliness and loss, and Mehrling’s soulful voice alongside Kosky’s dramatic keyboard skills hauntingly combine to evoke this
atmosphere of world weary longing, in songs such as September Song, Lonely House, or Train du Ciel.
But it’s not all heavily serious. Schickelgruber is a delight of satirical digging against the cause of Weill’s exile – one Adolf Hitler. The Saga of Jenny has wickedly black humour at it’s core.
It is to their credit that Mehrling and Kosky were able to convey the sound of cabaret and emotion and intimacy in a vast soulless tent in front of a socially distanced audience with rain beating outside. Not perfect conditions, but most enjoyable.
(This event is now past)
Photo courtesy of Mihaela Bodlovic