How Eva Von Schnippisch Won WWII – 09/03/19

Photo Liz McBurney

I must admit I was a little cautious about taking the kids to see Eva Von Schnippisch. I was originally planning to go to the Thursday night show on my own and was expecting a “hilariously filthy” one woman comedy musical show. So it was surprising to hear that there was kids’ version on Saturday afternoon, with the rude bits taken out…still, I was game so we gave it a try.

Both versions of the show were on as part of the Vault Festival. We’d last been to the Vaults for a cosmic-themed Big Fish Little Fish three years so I vaguely knew where we were going but if I’d read my own post first, I probably would have taken the route along York Rd and behind County Hall instead of the long way round Lower Marsh again. Ho hum, live and learn. And it’s kinda exciting for the kids to go through the graffiti tunnels. Last time there had been Avengers graffiti but this time the Marvel theme was X-Men – specifically, a giant Juggernaut from the New Mutant Army. Definitely worth swinging by if you’re in the area with a superhero fan.

But onto the main attraction – Eva Von Schnippisch and her daring tale of espionage and romance in WWII Europe. Obviously, my Eva was thrilled to share a name with the star of the show (and my Eva takes her name from my German grandmother so technically should be an AY-va too). Roo was less excited about the prospect of a second Eva in the room but likes history and violence so yknow…something for everyone.

The story was told in a series of dramatic and musical excerpts, with recorded voices occasionally standing in for other characters, although often it was just Eva darting from side to side of the stage to represent two or more people at once. She certainly was working hard to tell the tale, with characters ranging from a British officer to a young Marlene Dietrich although one character was often mentioned but never portrayed….and that was the elusive “bad man at the top”, whose inner circle Eva was forced to infiltrate. All of these characters involved costume changes and flicking between languages and accents, all of which Eva did with ease.

It certainly was raucous, even in the kids’ version. There were fart gags galore, massed chanting and a lot of audience participation. Some of the edits were very discreet and prompted a bit of giggle among the adults – did that song really always say “bore”? – and others….err…not so discreet. There was a song towards the end which seemed to have an entire verse missing but Eva just styled it right out.  A bag of haribo stood in for more illicit substances and there were multiple references to Eva’s rubber ball bouncing skills, which I imagine was worded slightly differently in the original. It all worked, though. It added an extra layer of charm to the show and it’s always funny to watch kids’ faces as they’re wondering what the grown ups are laughing about.

My kids’ favourite moment was when a stick of dynamite exploded in a shower of glitter. Everyone in the audience clearly knew that it was going to happen except my Eva, who stood up in her seat and loudly declared “I did not see that coming”. She got a round of applause for that, which pleased her greatly as you can imagine. She also really enjoyed the manic haribo-eating at the end, although Roo was regretting not making a dash for the leftover sweets on the stage at the end.

So a semi-improvised kids’ version of an adult cabaret show may not be your most obvious choice for a Saturday afternoon outing but we all really enjoyed it. And the Vaults are an interesting venue to just hang out in anyway, so it’s worth popping in for a drink at the Craft Beer bar and just to soak up the slightly musty but very hipster ambience. Roo was dressed in trousers that skimmed his ankle because he keeps growing but actually, most of the males in there were dressed similarly. And Eva was dressed in a witch’s dress, a sheep costume and a superhero cape but she’s Eva…they both fitted in just fine. And luckily neither of them asked too many questions about the “Vulvarine” poster in the toilet. A nemesis for the Juggernaut outside maybe?

Oh, and Lambeth North is clearly the way to get there. We went home that way and it’s way closer and less stress than Waterloo. You’re welcome.

Disclaimer: We recieved free tickets for the show in exchange for a review but all opinions remain honest and my own.  For tickets and more information, click here.




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