News: Anti-War Satire Featuring The Tiger Lillies Reopens Leith Theatre

Comedy cabaret act The Tiger Lillies are creating songs for a new adaptation of an anti-war satire to be performed on the centenary of the WW1 Armistice.

The Last Days of Mankind, by Viennese writer Karl Kraus is to be the first professional production in thirty years to take place at Leith Theatre in Edinburgh.

The three members of The Tiger Lillies will join a cast from Scotland, Ukraine, Germany, France, Serbia, Ireland and England for the production, which runs from November 10 – 16.

Martyn Jacques of the Tiger Lillies said: “I have already done an album about the war poets – but this is very different. They were heartbroken young men waiting to die. This one is very much more sarcastic. It is humour but very black humour and of the kind I love. It is really perfect for The Tiger Lillies.”

Karl Kraus wrote his epic masterpiece during World War One. He said the drama: “was conceived for a theatre on Mars.”

The author used contemporary newspaper reports, political speeches and overheard conversations, saying: “the most improbable deeds reported here really took place.”

Jacques, who has written a host of new songs based on the play, said he was inspired by a Kraus character called The Grumbler. “He talks quite concisely about the reality of this horrible, macabre, comic presentation.”

Song titles include; ‘War’s Not Fair’, ‘Lies’ and ‘Austria First’. Jacques has also composed new music for the World War One propaganda poem ‘Hymn of Hate’.

The world premiere of the new adaptation will be on November 11, 2018 – exactly one hundred years after the signing of the Armistice at the end of World War One. A preview performance will take place on November 10.

Co-directed by Scottish director John Paul McGroarty and Yuri Birte Anderson from Germany it will be the first full scale professional production at Leith Theatre for thirty years.

The magnificent art deco theatre, which is still in the process of restoration, was used in 2017 for the Hidden Door festival and in 2018 for a series of concerts curated by the Edinburgh International Festival.

For more information and to buy tickets click here:

Picture © Daniela Matejschek


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