My Cabaret-Berlin blog is now a year old. What started as a way of me recording and sharing what I had found out about my adopted city and the fascinating (to me!) period of the Weimar Republic, has certainly grown up.
(Ice arena in the Admiralspalast 1922. Image :Ullstein Bild)
(Marlene Dietrich in The Blue Angel 1930)
The first post, on May 13th last year, was a short history of the Eldorado Nightclub, and involved me venturing no further than the street I live in. I believe that post took me almost a whole day to write and compose, wrestling with the complexities of a WordPress format and inserting the photographs I had taken. It still does!
Those first few weeks were a frenzy of writing and research, with 12 posts published in as many days, and I was overjoyed and amazed that, by the end of the month, 419 people had looked at the site.
Today, as I write, the site is just about to pass the 75,000 visitor mark. This is truly astonishing to me.
The average is about 350 visits a day and, fact fans, Mondays at 10pm CET is rush hour!
By far and away the most searched-for topic is the dancer Anita Berber, with 2000 hits alone. This, of course, doesn’t take into account other searches involving her name connected with other people or places, or misspellings.
Sally Bowles is second with 1000 hits and Christopher Isherwood is fourth with 600.
The BBC’s adaptation of Christopher And His Kind in March of this year caused a surge of searches around that topic that lasted over a week. And it only takes a quick scan of the statistics to figure out if the film Cabaret has been on TV somewhere recently!
I’m now not sure that a blog is the best way to present and store this material, and am looking into converting the site into a proper, grown-up website that would be easier to search and better-looking. This will hopefully happen over the next few months.
There are still so many more stories to tell, and fascinating stuff to find out about that extraordinary period of just 14 years between the tragedy of the First World War and the horror that was to follow.
This summer, I hope to visit the city of Mainz, home to the Deutsches Kabarettarchiv and the newly founded Cabaret Walk Of Fame. Visit their website here
Isherwood’s Neighbourhood – A Walking Tour.
Starting and ending at Nollendorfplatz, this one-hour tour visits the neighbourhood Christopher Isherwood lived in during his time in Berlin and where he wrote his famous Berlin Diaries, which were to become the film Cabaret. Including readings from his novels and diaries, we will see the sights he wrote about, the bars and clubs he frequented and taste the city as he saw it in those uncertain times.
The tour is available by advance booking on firstname.lastname@example.org and is €10 per person.