“Breathtaking and powerful, Henry Naylor’s Games is sharp,
funny and poignant- a must see.”
Written by Henry Naylor
Directed by Louise Skaaning
with Sophie Shand and Tessie Orange-Turner
1936, Berlin. When Jewish athlete Helene Mayer is selected for the Nazis’ Olympic Squad, she realises she is fighting for much more than gold. Based on a true story, ‘Games’ is a cautionary tale for our times. A multi-award-winning, sell-out success, the show received an astonishing 14 five and four star reviews in Edinburgh. Brought to you by the team which has won over 30 of the world’s leading Fringe titles — including Overall Best Theatre in 2016, and the Overall Adelaide Critics’ Circle Awards in 2017 & 2018. Written by three-time Fringe First-winner Henry Naylor.
The “Games” are the Olympic Games of 1936 which were held in Berlin and for which, under the Nazi regime, Germany’s Jewish athletes had been marginalised and banned from state training facilities and thus any chance to gain a competitive edge.
To flesh out his riveting story, Naylor has selected two Jewish female athletes of the day, a fencer called Helene Mayer and a high-jumper called Gretel Bergman, and traced the travails they might have faced under the escalating Nazi persecution. He has breathed life and character into them, setting them in unlikely but historically credible conflict. Helene is the prim, smug, established champion, a local pin-up adored as The Little Hay. People keep her statue on their mantlepiece. Certainly Gretel does. She is a proud Jew and highly motivated by the idea of proving Jewish supremacy in sport. Helene, on the other hand, wishes to deflect from her Jewish background and identify herself exclusively as a fencer. Gretel is aghast at this and the two spar on the subject over the course of several years as Hitler’s reign grows.
Reviews… Don’t just take our word for it, this is what the critics said…
★★★★★ “Yet another perceptive and engaging tale from Henry Naylor.”
Fran Edwards, GLAM Adelaide, February 2019
★★★★★ “I cannot fault this performance. It is brilliant in every right, and I highly recommend it to everyone. An experience I will never forget…”
Rachel Wong, Collage Adelaide, February 2019
★★★★★ “It is a riveting piece of theatre… Simple and dramatic… It is a Fringe must-see” Samela Harris, The Barefoot Review, February 2019
★★★★★ “This two-hander is a gem” – Theatre London
★★★★★ “Breathtaking and powerful, Henry Naylor’s Games is sharp, funny and poignant- a must see.” EdFest Magazine
★★★★★ “A truly genius piece of writing.”