Written by Emma O’Brien
I had absolutely no idea what to expect as I found my way to The Crescent Theatre for the Berlin Love tour. The whole way there I had conjured up some weird image in my head of a gathering of people all being in one room, surrounded by little tiny models of all the landmarks and memorials that Berlin contains. I was then expecting some kind of lecture telling us about the devastation’s of Berlin and all its history being crammed into two tiny hours. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Our tour guide (Hilary) walked the group just a few minutes away from the theatre, stopping us in the middle of the street, pretending it was a significant part of Berlin and reeling off facts about it. I’ve got to admit that at first I didn’t buy it and thought it odd.
The love element was introduced as Hilary told us tales of lost love and about her love interest, Alex. As the tour progressed the love story between Alex and Hilary unraveled. It was obvious that what she was saying was straight from the heart, and she even shed real tears whilst opening up to us at certain points. It was then that I started to actually believe and immerse myself into the tour and into thinking that we were in Berlin. Along the way someone with a guitar followed performing love songs in the background.
The tour lasted roughly two hours, and we went round places such as Symphony Hall, Brindley Place and the back of the ICC, pretending they were places such Hitler’s bunker and Brandenburg Gate. Visiting the war memorial at Victoria Square and being told about how Berlin has a memorial just like this one was especially effective.
At the end of the tour we ended up at the top of a car park, where you could see all of Birmingham City Centre and there was a brilliant night sky. Hilary then finished her love story, letting us all in on the tragic ending. Everybody turned round and we were greeted by the person who had been following us with a guitar accompanied by a choir. Something about the night sky combined with the harmonic singing gave me goose bumps and everybody watched the performance in silence.
I am still baffled at how effective the tour was in making people aware of what the citizens of Berlin had to go through. I studied world war history at GCSE and we were particularly focused on Germany, however in them two years of studying I never learnt as much as I did in that two hour tour. This alone, is it what baffled me about the whole performance. I definitely recommend that you go to this event and have an open mind. It’s running till Sunday the 8th so make sure you try and grab a ticket!
I was lucky enough to grab an interview with Hilary after the performance, and I am pleased to say that she’s extremely friendly, and her passion for the tour really came across. Here’s a link to how the interview went.