The story starts in 1979 at a Brazilian beach where Josef Mengele, the infamous doctor of Auschwitz, nearly drowns after his morning swim. He assumes a local woman, brilliantly played by Stephanie Rossi, has saved him. In seeking to justify to his saviour why his life has more value than others and hence is worth rescuing, we start to see Mengele slowly but surely unravel by his own hubris.
Inspired by the novel, Right to Live, by Philip Waram and in collaboration with Holocaust survivors this play seeks to illustrate that these type of monsters can be born out of seemingly innocous ideology which becomes increasingly warped with time and their own sociopathic tendencies. Ideology which is being played out now with the rise of right wing governments across the world. The take home point is that we need to be kind and accepting of each other to stop atrocities such as this repeating again in the future.
This three part act play is interspersed with actual harrowing footage of World War 2 and the Nazi concentration camps which as well as underlining the themes, it serves as a brief intermission between acts. Mengele played by Tim Marriot [who also appears in another fringe show Shell Shock also at The Garage International] is outstanding. His portrayal of the doctor initially espousing his ability to save lives with his “research” and then the monster within is slowly revealed as he descends into narcissism.
Showing at The Garage International @ The Adelaide Town Hall until 13 March