{Review} H.I.D. (Hess is Dead) – Howard Brenton

21 Jun
{Review} H.I.D. (Hess is Dead) – Howard Brenton

“I mean who cares? The death of Rudolf Hess?”

Whilst I don’t believe the official line of every controversial incident that I’ve been told about, I do tend to get frustrated with conspiracy theories (especially ones that have something to do with Nazism) that are put forward both in literature and in every-day life. Frankly I don’t really want to listen to someone parsing the complicity of the ‘average Aryan’ in WWII or the presence of paganism in the SS at the expense of more important facts (such as how and why the Final Solution evolved in the way it did).

However, H.I.D., a play that bluntly disagrees with the verdict that Hess committed suicide on the 17th August 1987 and draws most of its source material (and conclusions from Hess: A Tale of Two Murders and Richard Norton-Taylor’s Hess Affair won me over. Whilst the revelation of the ‘true circumstances’ of Hess’s death are the main event, the play also raises several questions that are interesting to take away and consider, such as how “hard facts can, I find, go… mushy. The stones [of fact] turn to marshmallow” and whether or not Hess’s death (or even his life) have any meaning for younger generations.

Also interesting and enjoyable (at least for me), were the use of language in the soliloquies
(“an old man’s/ Dreams, in my arms/ and in my dreams/ all his ghosts”)
and the use of the both the stage and media to create an atmosphere that aims to literally draw the audience into the fabric of the play.

I hope that this review is informative and interesting to someone as I’d dearly love to read other’s opinions of this play.

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Posted by on June 21, 2016 in 2016 Reading Challenge, Books


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