The Stork’s Nest Cabaret is widely believed to be the inspiration for the cabaret venue featured in the iconic 1930 Marlene Dietrich movie The Blue Angel.
It was at 42 Oranienburger Strasse, close to the Friedrichstadt Palast and existed from 1923 to 1931. On the outside of the building was colourful canopy sheltering a glass display case featuring photographs of the performers and boastful reviews of the cabaret on offer.
The interior was way past it’s best and it’s patrons drunk and bawdy. On the stage there was a semi-circle of chairs on which the evening’s ‘chanteuses’ sat. As one finished their song, another would stand and make their way down-stage for their performance. The songs were often filthy and suggestive and the performers more likely at the end of their career than at the start.
It was not uncommon for large glasses of beer to handed up to the performers whilst they were on stage, and they all sold photographs of themselves to the audience during the intervals.
There would occasionally be some touring acts added to the regulars on the bill, the most notable being Torch Song singer Lola Niedlich, dancer Charlotte Corday and transvestite ventriloquist Paul Schiephacke.
It was also possible for customers to purchase seats on the stage , and to meet privately with the performers in side-rooms backstage. The possibilities were seemingly endless if the price was right. Unfortunately, unsuspecting tourists in the audience, would often leave to find they had been relieved of their wallets and watches.