Pip Utton’s Adolf Hitler portrayal was purely accidental

ADOLF HITLER is in his Berlin bunker in 1945 and ranting violently as he awaits the inevitable collapse of the Third Reich.

His words are poisonous, of course – but beware, some of the lines are not what they seem.

Actor Pip Utton has won rave reviews for his portrayal of the Fuhrer and brings Adolf back to the Mill Studio at Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre next week following a sell-out run last year.

Much of his self-written play is taken from Hitler’s own words in his book, Mein Kampf, but some of the lines are not…

COMPULSIVE CHARACTER – in his self-penned play, Pip Utton uses Adolf’s voice to illustrate other politicians’ quotes
COMPULSIVE CHARACTER – in his self-penned play, Pip Utton uses Adolf’s voice to illustrate other politicians’ quotes

“I wanted to do something about prejudice and intolerance and if you’re going to try something about prejudice and intolerance, why not pick the most prejudiced, intolerant racist of all time?” explains Pip.

“But I wanted to use him to highlight how our prejudices can be manipulated by politicians. I had an idea that anybody’s words in the mouth of Adolf Hitler would sound terrible.

“So, there are quotes from Tony Blair and Margaret Thatcher, Josef Stalin, Kofi Annan, and I think there’s one from George Bush, the old one.

“We accept today some of the things they say, and they still sound logical – but horrible in the mouth of Adolf Hitler.”

That’s why the play, Adolf, goes some way towards explaining what made Hitler so compulsive. It asks how any cultured person could follow him to destruction, desolation and genocide, to leave a long deep scar on the 20th century. And then provides a few answers.

Pip sets out to take his audience on a journey into themselves, gently coaxing an understanding of the mind-set of a nation that could allow a man such as Hitler to take control – and his award-winning performance all came about by accident.

“I was in a dressing room one night and some make-up ladies said ‘You really look like the character you’re playing’ – I was playing Tony Hancock,” he says.

“They said ‘Can we just play around and see who else we can make you look like?’ First of all, they made me look like Roy Orbison (who he has also portrayed) and then they made me look like Adolf Hitler.

“It was quite scary how much I looked like Hitler and that planted the seed. I thought that if you’re going to play somebody bad, let’s play the biggest baddie of all time…”

Pip Utton will be in Adolf at the Mill Studio, Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford, for two nights on Friday, February 1 and Saturday, February 2.

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About the Author: Barry Rutter