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“All art is at once surface and symbol. Those who go beneath the surface do so at their peril.” - Oscar Wilde

degenerate art


Written & Directed by TOBY SCHMITZ

“All art is at once surface and symbol.
Those who go beneath the surface do so at their peril.” 

- Oscar Wilde

A twice-rejected art school applicant rises to political power through the use of charm, cunning and violence. From there, he declares merciless war on ‘cultural disintegration’, ordering an aesthetic purge of the entartete Künstler - the ‘degenerate artists’ - and their work. 

As a result, between 1933 and 1945 one fifth of all artworks in Europe - valued at billions of dollars - are looted by, or have their sale coerced by, the Nazis.

Acclaimed actor, director and playwright Toby Schmitz returns to his stomping ground, the Old Fitz Theatre, with an incredible ensemble cast of Toby Schmitz (The Present, The Rover), Septimus Caton (This Much Is True), Guy Edmonds (The Moodys, House Husbands), Giles Gartrell-Mills (A View From The Bridge, Sport For Jove), Henry Nixon (The Kettering Incident, Rake), Megan O’Connell (Cleverman, The Motherf#cker With The Hat) and Rupert Reid (Sunshine, The Village Bike) to breathe life into the story of what happens when a consummate performer - surrounded by yes men - takes it upon himself to shape the cultural future of a nation.

Septimus Caton
Guy Edmonds
Giles Gartrell-Mills
Henry Nixon
Megan O'Connell
Rupert Reid
Toby Schmitz

Written & Directed by Toby Schmitz
Produced by Red Line Productions
Assistant Director: Andrew Henry
Set & Costume Design: Maya Keys
Lighting Design: Alexander Berlage
Sound Design: Ben Pierpoint
AV Design: Aron Murray
Stage Management: Genevieve Muratore
Assistant Stage Management: Simon Porro
Photography: John Marmaras
Design by How Design

$45.00 - $60.00
*Ticket prices are adjustable pending demand.

100 minutes (no interval)

Recommended for ages 16+

Seating at the Old Fitz Theatre is unreserved.

There is a lockout policy in place for all shows at the Old Fitz Theatre. Unfortunately latecomers can not be permitted and reentry to the theatre is not possible during the performance. Please visit our info page for more information.


★★★★ “Degenerate Art is an intense raging torrent of words and ideas and characters. It’s a witty and most often wonderful dig in the ribs for the Fuhrer who would have loathed these 100 minutes with rabid passion, not just for the delivery but because its symphonic construction takes us through the rise and rise, the darkest achievements and, finally, the flaming end of Nazi hegemony. Whatever he’s doing, Toby Schmitz is never less than wildly ambitious. Encouragement and appreciation are the only responses. Not to be missed – Recommended.” - stage noise with Diana Simmonds

★★★★ “Degenerate Art rings with Weimar decadence in the direct confrontation of audience, the complexity of movement and the expression of blackness nestled in the humanness of evildoers. The production bristles with power and excellence.” - artshub

“Degenerate Art is an outstanding production, one of those marvelous actor-driven theatre experiences laced with electrifying characters. A  marvelous success built on great skill that gives every patron a thrilling night at the theatre. It’s wonderful to see such superb locally written work.” - Lisa thatcher

“Writer/director Toby Schmitz’s is to be commended on his excellent play and timely reminder of the evils of racism, prejudice and the rise of the far right.” - Sydney arts guide

"Toby Schmitz hits almost all marks as the writer of Degenerate Art, its director and also one of this impressive ensemble” - stage whispers

“DEGENERATE ART, is a remarkable offer in the 'landscape' of our bland Australian theatre world. It is for the brave. It is for the interested and curious of the Nazi raison d'être. It is not for the casual theatre goer. It is not for the theatre goer looking for a light distraction. It is an amazing text, and we are excited by the quality of the discipline of these artists with their honed skills (rare to have such a collection of actors together on the one stage, at the same time.) Thank goodness for Red Line and the Old Fitz, for their artistic curation, otherwise we'd never have got the choice to witness the latest Toby Schmitz labour of love: Writer, Director and, belatedly, actor. It is dense and definitely overwhelmingly intense.” - Kevin Jackson

The Degenerate Art cast; Septimus Caton, Guy Edmonds, Toby Schmitz, Giles Gartrell-Mills, Henry Nixon, Megan O'Connell and Rupert Reid

The Degenerate Art cast; Septimus Caton, Guy Edmonds, Toby Schmitz, Giles Gartrell-Mills, Henry Nixon, Megan O'Connell and Rupert Reid