Fury as pupils at elite public school perform Hitler salutes during play

Parent complains after pupils prompted to enact sieg heils as part of ‘educational’ play at Millfield school


One of Britain’s most prestigious public schools is facing questions after it staged a play about Adolf Hitler during which pupils were photographed doing Sieg Heil salutes.

Images obtained by the JC show teenagers at £45,000-a-year Millfield School in Somerset smiling as they raised their arms for the Nazi gesture, facing a large swastika flag and an actor dressed as Hitler on stage.

Alumni of the school include footballer Tyrone Mings, model Sophie Dahl, singer Lily Allen, Formula 1 Racing Driver Lando Norris, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace and David and Victoria Beckham’s son Romeo.

The father of a Jewish pupil said he and other parents were horrified when they saw pictures taken at the performance showing teenage children — believed to be sixth-formers — laughing while performing the offensive Nazi salutes.

He complained to the school, highlighting that the play had been staged hours before Yom Kippur.

“It made me feel sick,” he told the JC. “What on earth were the teachers thinking? It would not be appropriate to give this kind of play the green light for school children at any time, least of all on the eve of Yom Kippur.

"The school must have known of the content and if not, it should have. There is no excuse for this disgraceful error of judgment.”

The father said pupils were given no warning of the content of the one-man play, Adolf, performed by actor Pip Utton, who dressed up as Hitler for the performance, with a brown uniform, swastika armband and moustache.

Mr Utton told the JC that had he known it was so close to Yom Kippur, he would have asked to “reschedule”. He said: “I like to think I’m a sensitive fellow. Perhaps the school should have also have been more sensitive and found another date.”

He added that he had “manipulated” the children into saluting at the end of the show. He said: “I told them we should thank the technicians because they rarely receive recognition.

“I said I wanted them to perform a special show of gratitude by raising their right arms in the air, then bring their hand down to clap their knee.

“As their hands went up I told them, ‘it seemed to work in Berlin’. I was in no way attempting to glorify that horrible, horrible salute.

"The point was to show how people can be manipulated and how easy it is. Believe me, it is shocking for me to see it happen.

"They got the fact that it was kind of a joke because they were laughing about it.”

The show is billed as an educational exploration of Hitler’s fascism and draws heavily from Mein Kampf. On his website, the actor says it “furnishes an acute anatomy of fascism, its ideological justification, its poisoned utopias”.

It says it makes the audience face “their own intolerance” and “an understanding of the mindset of a nation that could allow such a man to take control”.

A YouTube recording of the play shows Mr Utton standing in front of a giant swastika, dressed as Hitler, saying: “Of course we are aware of who that enemy really is: it’s the Jew, the gipsy, the Slav and the negro, the communist, the homosexual and all the other subhuman threats to our intellectual development and the greatest of these, the very greatest of these, is the Jew. The Jew must be cleansed vigorously… nothing can remain of the Jew.”

Mr Utton said he used the same wording in October at Millfield.

Following the performance, several pupils are known to have complained to staff, with senior teachers ordering pupils to delete photos of the event from their phones but giving no explanation or apology.

The angry parent said: “The school’s sole concern seemed to be a looming scandal, so it tried to destroy the evidence. I am absolutely appalled. The very least they could have done is offer an apology.”

Last night Millfield School head Gavin Horgan said his pupils should not have been encouraged to “role play such actions” and admitted: “We should not have staged this play. We are sorry for the hurt that has been caused and we have changed our approach to vetting performances so that this will never happen again.”

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