Oh the shark has pearly teeth, dear
And he shows them, pearly white
Just a jack knife has Macheath, dear
And he keeps it out of sight
8pm, 31 August 1928. Berlin, Theater am Schiffbauerdamm. Bertolt Brecht’s Three Penny Opera is beginning and Kurt Weill’s music fills the ears of the audience. “Die Moritat von Mackie Messer“ – The Ballad of Mack the Knife and “Seeräuberjenny“ – Pirate Jenny are instant favourites through this socialist driven, capitalist blasting performance.
From a tugboat by the river,
A cement bag’s dropping down;
The cement’s just for the weight, dear;
Bet ya Mackie’s back in town!
Louie Miller disappeared, dear,
After drawing out his cash,
And Macheath spends like a sailor;
Did our boy do something rash?
5.30pm, 13th June 2016. Adelaide, The Festival Centre. Robyn Archer will take the stage, leading you through the throws and leaps that is the pace of Kurt Weill’s music from The Threepenny Opera. Myriad artists will take the stage to pay homage to this great composer, innovator and raconteur.
The Weill File is calling.
Suky Tawdry, Jenny Diver,
Polly Peachum, Lucy Brown;
Oh, the line forms on the right, dears,
Now that Mackie’s back in town!
Oh, the shark has pretty teeth, dear,
And he shows them pearly white;
Just a jack-knife has Macheath, dear,
And he keeps it out of sight!
Photographer and Model: Sophie Armstrong
Wearing: All Vintage, Collette Dinnigan Stockings
“After midnight, the guests were ready for the apocalyptic moment when she pranced up the stage ramp. Anita’s girls were powdered in deadly pallid shades and appeared like figures of death incarnate. But Anita performed with bitter sincerity. Each intrusion annoyed her. She responded to the audience’s heckling with show-stopping obscenities and indecent provocations.
Berber had been known to spit brandy on them or stand naked on their tables, dousing herself in wine whilst simultaneously urinating.
One night the entire cabaret sank into a groundswell of shouting, screams and laughter. Anita jumped off the stage in fuming rage, grabbed the nearest champagne bottle and smashed it over a businessman’s head.”
From Mel Gordon’s ‘Voluptuous Panic’ and ‘ The Seven Addictions and Five Professions of Anita Berber