The Information on: Ute Lemper

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The Independent Culture
What Is It?

Ute Lemper (right) - last seen in the West End in the musical Chicago - goes back to her roots in a one woman show, Life's a Swindle, in which she performs Brecht and Weill and other German cabaret songs, interspersed with a lot of high kicks. She also reveals the stresses and strains of playing the murderess Velma for 11 months in London, seven in New York and one in Las Vegas.

What They Say About It

"These essentially light-hearted pokes at national stereotypes sit uneasily with the central, and far darker, theme of the evening: the inescapability of Germany and being German. If Lemper had had more courage she might have picked at this question more fearlessly, and not felt the need for crowd-pleasing lapses into sentimentality," Dan Cairns, The Sunday Times.

"Although her swooping voice is as strong and startling as ever, and she cuts a commandingly sexy figure, it turns out that banter is not her strong suit," Nick Curtis, The Evening Standard.

"It was pretty clear by the end of Ute Lemper's extraordinary one-woman show that many members of the audience were in a state of enslaved adoration. I have to admit, however, that she scares the hell out of me," Charles Spencer, The Daily Telegraph.

"A brilliant excavation, with pianist Bruno Fontaine, of lost songs of raunchy old Berlin, as well as classics by Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht," Michael Coveney, Daily Mail.

Where You Can Get It

Life's a Swindle is at the Queen's Theatre, Shaftesbury Ave, London W1 (0171-494 5040) ends Sun