Park Theatre, Finsbury Park – until 28th May 2022
Reviewed by Bobbi Fenton
Based on the incredible true story, ‘The End of the Night’ takes place in the house of Felix Kirsten (Michael Lumsden), who has invited Nazi Heinrich Himmler (Richard Clothier) to meet with Jewish Norbert Masur (Ben Caplan) who serves as a representative of the Jewish people. Norbert Masur was raised in Germany, however he explains that he has lived in Sweden for the last twenty years. In this meeting, Masur tries to negotiate with Himmler, with the help of Kirsten, to release some concentration camp prisoners to a neutral country, such as Sweden, with the promise that it will boost Himmler’s reputation. Kirsten has somewhat of an upper hand with Himmler, as his personal masseuse, and has negotiated in the past for his house to be officially not on German land to protect himself. This story is full of suspense, with moments of such palpable tension, it feels like we, the audience, are in the room with them. However, it also includes some unanticipated but well-timed comedic moments, which make reference to the lies and the failings of the Nazi party towards the end of the war.
Richard Clothier’s performance as Heinrich Himmler is incredibly gripping, leaving the audience fully absorbed in the play. This alongside Ben Caplan’s profound performance as Norbert Masur makes for a truly captivating show. Not forgetting the remarkable performance by Olivia Bernstone, who delivers an incredibly powerful monologue towards the end of the play, as concentration camp prisoner Jeanne Bommezjin recalling the day the red cross vans arrived to rescue the prisoners from the camp.
This suspenseful play is absolutely brilliant, and is the perfect play for anyone who has an interest in World War Two history