Sunday, 18 January 2009

The potato head of a peasant

Monique Polak, writing in the Montreal Gazette on Saturday, raved about Vehicule Editor Andrew Steinmetz's new novel Eva's Threepenny Theatre. The book is based on the story of Steinmetz's great-aunt Eva who appeared in the first workshop production of Bertolt Brecht’s play The Threepenny Opera, in 1928 (on the right is a 1926 portrait of Brecht by his friend Rudolf Schlichter).

Eva’s Three Penny Theatre is about many things, including memory, the history of theatre, life in pre- and post-war Germany and complicated family dynamics, but the real star of this book is Eva herself. Spirited and clever, Steinmetz’s Eva is also a masterful storyteller with an eye for detail. Consider her description of the poet-playwright Bertolt Brecht, whose path crossed hers in 1928, when, at the age of 16, Eva performed in the first workshop production of Brecht’s The Threepenny Opera: He had, she recalls unabashedly, “the potato head of a peasant.”

Read the rest here.


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