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Dietrich - Natural Duty transfers to Wilton's Music Hall

Peter Groom in Dietrich - Natural Duty. Photo credit: Matt Jamie.

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

FOLLOWING a highly-acclaimed Edinburgh Festival run and sold out shows at VAULT festival, Dietrich – Natural Duty transfers to Wilton’s Music Hall, where it runs from November 19 to November 24, 2018.

A breathtaking mix of theatre, cabaret and drag, created and performed by Peter Groom, Dietrich – Natural Duty is an intoxicating one-(wo)man show revealing the life of a legend, Marlene Dietrich.

It is 1942, on the battlefields of North Africa. In a gold sequin gown, Hollywood star Marlene Dietrich takes to the stage to launch her own offensive against the German Reich. For the next three years she would fight the war her way, with an irresistible mix of songs, sequins, sex and sympathy.

Dietrich – Natural Duty uses music, stories and songs – including Falling in Love Again, Lili Marlene, Where Have All the Flowers Gone?, Boys in the Backroom and Lola – to reveal a Hollywood icon’s extraordinary commitment to duty.

This real life tale of a legend takes us through the Weimar Republic, the Golden age of Hollywood, the Rise of Hitler, a world on the edge of collapse, and a long journey back to Berlin where it all began.

Born in Berlin in 1901, Marie Magdalene “Marlene” Dietrich soon became a Hollywood legend, and the most famous German woman in the world. However, when World War II was declared, she was forced to choose between the country that she loved, and what she knew was right.

Renouncing her German citizenship, Dietrich joined the American Army and fought against her homeland in order to free her people from Hitler. With an American smile and Prussian discipline she would entertain GIs in an evening dress, then put on a combat uniform and head to the front.

As our political landscape becomes more polarised this timely story of duty asks questions about our own moral and ethical obligations, and explores how the fight for freedom can take many forms; whether in a sequin gown, combat uniform, or as a man in a wig.

Peter Groom said: “I’m keen to dissect the use of drag in theatre and explore a way in which drag becomes not just a novelty but an important device/tool in order to help tell a story.”

Produced by Jimmy Jewell and co-written and directed by Oliver Gully, Dietrich – Natural Duty has costume design by Kathleen Nellis, lighting design by Fraser Craig, sound design by Kieran Lucas and hair by WigChapel.

Watch trailer at

Dietrich – Natural Duty is suitable for ages 12+.

Image: Peter Groom in Dietrich – Natural Duty. Photo credit: Matt Jamie.

Tickets: 12.50 – £22.50; concessions £10 – £20. To book, call the box office on 020 7702 2789 (Monday to Friday from 11am – 6pm) or visit

Times: Monday to Thursday and Saturday at 7.45pm; Friday at 6.30pm and 8.30pm; Thursday and Saturday at 3pm.

Running time: 60 minutes.

Read more about Wilton’s Music Hall’s Autumn 2018 Season.