Hedwig and the Angry Inch

September 2000 saw Nathan once more donning wigs and frocks, to take the title role at certain performances of "Hedwig and the Angry Inch," in the West End's Playhouse Theatre. Every Monday, Nathan could be seen and heard, turning this quiet, beautiful, old building into a scorching den of seething rock/punk tunes, and savage, unforgiving humour.

This was a show that was meant to change the face of Musical Theatre in tne UK, and give a radical shake-up to an art, some see as becoming staid, stale, and just too commercial. Here was a show that moved and amused people, engaged, and sickened them, gave them a glimpse of a world they would never be a part of.

For some, it was just too much. Many people decided they didn't want to stay until the end of the performance, and left part-way through - missing the whole beautiful point of this heart-wrenching, tragic tale. Those who stayed, went away entranced, uplifted, and totally in love with Hedwig, for all her flaws, as a person, a real-life human being: bitchy, loving, callused, generous, care-worn, and above all, vulnerable.

Sadly, the damage was done. Not enough people came, and the show closed after only six weeks - proving once again, that you have to cater to the masses in order to survive in the world of theatre today.

Here is what Nathan has to say about Hedwig's untimely closure:

"Shows like this don't come along very often, and I will always be very proud to have been associated with such an incredible piece of theatre.

Maybe someday, someone will realize that a show's worth is not to be measured in the amount of money it makes, or even in the number of people who come to see it, but in how deeply it can affect those it touches, and how much of that indefinable something that its audience takes away with them, never to be forgotten.

I hope that day comes soon."

Synopsis

Hedwig and the angry inch, is a show unlike any other. It is not your typical West End Musical. It would be hard to truly define the kind of show that is "Hedwig," but the label that seems to come closest, is that of "Rock Cabaret."

It would also be almost impossible to synopsize this piece of theatre fully, jam-packed with complexities as it is, but a nutshell version follows here.

We meet Hedwig, during the opening night performance of her "Unlimited London Run," at the Playhouse Theatre on the Embankment.

Self-billed as "The Internationally Ignored Songstylist," she bombards us with a dazzling array of great rock tunes, while imparting to us, the history that has brought us to the stage as we see her.

Hedwig takes us on the journey of her childhood, introducing us to all the people who have touched her life along the way.

Hedwig was born a boy, Hansel, in East Berlin. The young Hansel spent his childhood behind the Berlin Wall, in a tiny one bedroomed appartment, which he shared with his selfish, tyrannical mother.

Most of his youth was spent looking for his "Other half" as described to him in a bedtime story. His search leads him down the road of reluctant transexualism - He is forced to have a sex change, in order to marry the American GI who promises to whisk him away from this impoverished life.

Unfortunately, the operation goes badly wrong, and leaves the newly-named Hedwig horribly mutilated.

Hedwig meets the now-famous Tommy Gnosis, Rock Star extraordinaire, as a young boy, and believes that he is "The One" that she has been looking for.

She sets about teaching him all she knows about music, and their career together begins to flourish.

Sadly, their relationship is doomed to failure, and Tommy goes on to bigger and better things, leaving Hedwig behind, bitter, and alone.

Hedwig is a woman who will live in the memories of all who get to know her, for a very long time to come.

PHOTOS

Click on the thumbs below to view the pics.

Nathan as Hedwig
Other Hedwig Photos
Constructing the Hedwig Make Up

Nathan as Hedwig
These photographs were taken during Nathan's final performance of Hedwig, in October 2000. They are shown here with kind permission from Davide Sahner.

Cast Details

Michael Cerveris
Hedwig
Elizabeth Marsh
Yitzak
Nathan Taylor
Hedwig
(At certain performances)
Helen York
Yitzak
(Understudy)



The Band

Joe Pecorino
Skshp (Keys/Guitar -
8th Sept-6th Oct)
Julian Littman
Skshp (Keys/Guitar -
From 8th Oct)
Chris Jago
Schlatko (Drums)
Mark Kulke
Krzyztof (Guitar)
David Ledden
Jacek (Bass)