Posts with the label cabaret
Showing posts with label cabaret. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cabaret. Show all posts

Monday, 21 March 2022

Fra Fee, Amy Lennox, Omar Baroud and Vivien Parry in Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club


Released today – production shots of Fra Fee (Emcee), Amy Lennox (Sally Bowles), Omar Baroud (Cliff Bradshaw) and Vivien Parry (Fraulein Schneider) in CABARET at the Kit Kat Club ahead of their first performance this evening, Monday 21 March.

Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club has recently been nominated for 11 Olivier Awards including Best Musical Revival,  Best Director, Best Set Design, Best Costume Design, Best Theatre Choreographer, Best Lighting Design and Best Sound Design.  
 
Fra Fee (Emcee) most recently starred as Kazi in the hit Disney+ series Hawkeye, set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He created the role of Michael Carber in the award-winning play The Ferryman at the Royal Court, the Gielgud Theatre in the West End and the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre on Broadway. His other theatre credits include Owen in Translations and Amiens in As You Like It, both at the National Theatre and the title role in Candide at the Menier Chocolate Factory. He played Courfeyac in the film of the musical Les Misérables and also appeared in the stage production at the Queen’s Theatre.
 
Amy Lennox (Sally Bowles) received an Olivier nomination for Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical for her portrayal of Lauren in the West End production of Kinky Boots. Her other credits include Ellie in the London premiere of the David Bowie and Enda Walsh musical Lazarus. She was in the original West End cast of the musical Legally Blonde and created the role of Doralee in the original UK production of 9 to 5 The Musical.
 
Fra and Amy appeared together in the critically acclaimed production of The Last Five Years in Belfast.
 
Omar Baroud (Cliff Bradshaw) is soon to appear in the series Wedding Season for Disney+. His other TV credits include Baptiste for the BBC and The Innocents for Netflix. His theatre credits include You Bury Me for Paines Plough, As You Like It at the Watermill Theatre, A Song at Twilight at the Theatre Royal Bath and All Places That The Eye of Heaven Visits at Shakespeare’s Globe.
 
Vivien Parry (Fraulein Schneider) has appeared in many West End productions including Madge Hardwick in the original cast of Top Hat at the Aldwych Theatre, Madame Thénardier in Les Misérables at the Queen’s Theatre, Donna in Mamma Mia! at the Prince of Wales Theatre and Mrs Walshingham in Half A Sixpence at the Noel Coward Theatre. Vivien’s other credits include Twelfth Night and The Shoemaker’s Holiday, both for the Royal Shakespeare Company and Celia in The Girls at Leeds Grand Theatre.
 
They join the full company including Elliot Levey as ‘Herr Schultz’ (Olivier Award nominee for his role in this production), Stewart Clarke as ‘Ernst Ludwig’ and Anna-Jane Casey as ‘Fraulein Kost’. The cast is completed by Josh Andrews, Emily Benjamin, Sally Frith, Matthew Gent, Emma Louise Jones, Ela Lisondra, Theo Maddix, Chris O’Mara, Daniel Perry, Andre Refig, Christopher Tendai, Bethany Terry, Lillie-Pearl Wildman and Sophie Maria Wojna.
 
Cabaret is directed by Rebecca Frecknall,  set and costume design is by Tom Scutt with choreography by Julia Cheng. Musical supervision and direction is by Jennifer Whyte. Lighting design is by Isabella Byrd with sound design by Nick Lidster. The casting director is Stuart Burt and the associate director is Jordan Fein.
 
Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club is booking until October 2022. 

Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club

Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club
Photos by Marc Brenner

Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club

Amy Lennox as 'Sally Bowles'

Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club

Fra Fee 'Emcee'.

Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club

Fra Fee 'Emcee' and Amy Lennox 'Sally Bowles'

Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club

Fra Fee 'Emcee'.

Fra Fee, Amy Lennox, Omar Baroud and Vivien Parry in Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club

Monday, 21 March 2022

Tuesday, 1 March 2022

Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club Announces New Emcee and Sally Bowles


The producers of CABARET at the KIT KAT CLUB in London’s West End are delighted to announce that Fra Fee will play ‘The Emcee’ and Amy Lennox will play ‘Sally Bowles’ from 21 March – 25 June 2022. This unique production opened in December last year to critical and audience acclaim, widely praised as the ultimate theatrical experience.

 

Adam Speers, Ed Bartlam and Charlie Wood, the producers of Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club said today “We are thrilled to be welcoming the perfectly marvellous Fra Fee and Amy Lennox to our production of Cabaret. We wanted to recast these career defining roles with exceptional actors and so we’re just delighted that the stars have aligned with both Fra and Amy’s schedules.  We couldn’t have asked for a more exciting and thrilling duo to follow Eddie and Jessie.”

 

Director Rebecca Frecknall said today “It's always exciting to be able to keep a production live and evolving across its run, to be able to continue digging into the piece and making new discoveries. The fact that we will have new actors taking on the roles of Sally and the Emcee as Cabaret continues to run in the West End is thrilling, the original cast passing the baton to different actors who will bring their own perspectives to the work. I'm thrilled that Fra Fee and Amy Lennox will be the first new pair joining the production this Spring, two of our most exciting stage and screen actors. I know they will bring new creative energy to the production and will show me and our audiences new facets of the show.”

 

Fra Fee most recently starred as Kazi in the hit Disney+ series Hawkeye, set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He created the role of Michael Carber in the award-winning play The Ferryman at the Royal Court, the Gielgud Theatre in the West End and the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre on Broadway. His other theatre credits include Owen in Translations and Amiens in As You Like It, both at the National Theatre and the title role in Candide at the Menier Chocolate Factory. He played Courfeyac in the film of the musical Les Misérables and also appeared in the stage production at the Queen’s Theatre.

 

Amy Lennox received an Olivier nomination for Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical for her portrayal of Lauren in the West End production of Kinky Boots. Her other credits include Ellie in the London premiere of the David Bowie and Enda Walsh musical Lazarus. She was in the original West End cast of the musical Legally Blonde and created the role of Doralee in the original UK production of 9 to 5 The Musical.

 

Fra and Amy appeared together in the critically acclaimed production of The Last Five Years in Belfast.

 

Also joining the production on 21 March 2022 will be Omar Baroud as ‘Cliff Bradshaw’ and Vivien Parry as ‘Fraulein Schneider’. Continuing in their roles will be Elliot Levey as ‘Herr Schultz’, Stewart Clarke as ‘Ernst Ludwig’ and Anna-Jane Casey as ‘Fraulein Kost’.

The cast is completed by Josh Andrews, Emily Benjamin, Sally Frith, Matthew Gent, Emma Louise Jones, Ela Lisondra, Theo Maddix, Chris O’Mara, Daniel Perry, Andre Refig, Christopher Tendai, Bethany Terry, Lillie-Pearl Wildman and Sophie Maria Wojna.

  

Omar Baroud (Cliff Bradshaw) is soon to appear in the series Wedding Season for Disney+. His other TV credits include Baptiste for the BBC and The Innocents for Netflix. His theatre credits include You Bury Me for Paines Plough, As You Like It at the Watermill Theatre, A Song at Twilight at the Theatre Royal Bath and All Places That The Eye of Heaven Visits at Shakespeare’s Globe.

 

Vivien Parry (Fraulein Schneider) has appeared in many West End productions including Madge Hardwick in the original cast of Top Hat at the Aldwych Theatre, Madame Thénardier in Les Misérables at the Queen’s Theatre, Donna in Mamma Mia! at the Prince of Wales Theatre and Mrs Walshingham in Half A Sixpence at the Noel Coward Theatre. Vivien’s other credits include Twelfth Night and The Shoemaker’s Holiday, both for the Royal Shakespeare Company and Celia in The Girls at Leeds Grand Theatre.

 

Elliot Levey (Herr Schultz) most recently appeared in Nine Lessons and Carols at the Almeida where he also appeared in Three Sisters. His other theatre credits include the West End productions of Mary Stuart at the Duke of York’s Theatre, The Ruling Class at Trafalgar Studios and Much Ado About Nothing at the Wyndham’s Theatre. His National Theatre credits include The Habit of Art and His Dark Materials.

 

Stewart Clarke (Ernst Ludwig) most recently appeared in Be More Chill at The Other Palace. His West End theatre credits include Fiddler on the Roof at the Playhouse Theatre and Loserville at the Garrick Theatre. He also appeared in Assassins at the Menier Chocolate Factory and The Rink at the Southwark Playhouse.

 

Anna-Jane Casey (Fraulein Kost) was most recently seen in Girl from the North Country at the Gielgud Theatre in the West End. Her other West End credits include Mrs Wilkinson in Billy Elliot at the Victoria Palace and Lady of the Lake in Spamalot at the Playhouse Theatre. She played Dot in Sunday in the Park with George at the Menier Chocolate Factory, Mabel in Mack and Mabel at the Watermill Theatre and the title roles in Piaf and Sweet Charity and Violet Butterfield in Flowers for Mrs Harris, all at the Sheffield Crucible.

 

In a time when the world is changing forever, there is one place where everyone can be free… Welcome to the Kit Kat Club, home to an intimate and electrifying new production of CABARET. This is Berlin. Relax. Loosen up. Be yourself. 

 

The Kit Kat Club has laid siege to the Playhouse Theatre. The performers have infiltrated the premises. The artists have staked their claim. Who knows for how long they’ll stay, but for now they are enjoying the party. The party at the end of the world.

 

Transforming one of London’s most famous theatres with an in-the-round auditorium and reimagined spaces, before the show guests are invited to enjoy and explore the Kit Kat Club with pre-show entertainment, drinks and dining all on offer. When booking, guests receive a 'club entry time' to allow enough time to take in the world of the Kit Kat Club before the show starts. But of course, the show really starts when you first join us in the club…

 

One of the most successful musicals of all time CABARET features the songs Wilkommen, Don’t Tell Mama, Mein Herr, Maybe This Time, Money and the title number. It has music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb, book by Joe Masteroff. Based on the play by John Van Druten and stories by Christopher Isherwood.

 

CABARET is directed by Rebecca Frecknall (the Almeida’s Olivier Award winning Summer and Smoke, The Duchess of Malfi, Three Sisters), set and costume design is by Tom Scutt (A Very Expensive Poison, Constellations, King Charles III, Jesus Christ Superstar, collaborations with Sam Smith, Christine and the Queens) with choreography by Julia Cheng (founder of the House of Absolute, Philharmonia Orchestra Artist in Residence, recipient of the runner-up prize for Hip Hop Dance futures, Resident Choreographer for the Royal Academy of Dance, Judge and mentor for BBC Young Dancer and Breakin’ Convention – the UK’s biggest Hip Hop Festival, collaborations with London Fashion Week, Google and Dr Martens). Musical supervision and direction is by Jennifer Whyte (Les Misérables film, Caroline Or Change, Parade). Lighting design is by Isabella Byrd (Heroes of the Fourth Turning and Light Shining in Buckinghamshire – both in New York, Daddy – A Melodrama at the Almeida and The Flick at the National theatre) with sound design by Nick Lidster (City of Angels, Passion, Pacific Overtures and Parade at the Donmar Warehouse, Sweeney Todd and On The Town for English National Opera, A Chorus Line, Les Misérables and Miss Saigon). The casting director is Stuart Burt (& Juliet, The Drifters Girl and 2021 CDG Award for Best Casting in Theatre for Cyrano De Bergerac) and the associate director is Jordan Fein.

 

Tickets for CABARET at the KIT KAT CLUB are currently on sale until October 2022. kitkat.club

CABARET at the KIT KAT CLUB is produced by Ambassador Theatre Group Productions and Underbelly.

Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club Announces New Emcee and Sally Bowles

Tuesday, 1 March 2022

Monday, 12 October 2020

The Show Must Go On, The Lost Alhambra | Review


The Show Must Go On (Chicago)
The Lost Alhambra 
Reviewed on Friday 9th October 2020 by Olivia Mitchell 
★★★★★

With the fate of theatre hanging precariously right now, in a happy medium and potential loophole, cabaret style nights out appear to be one of the few ways live theatre can still go ahead. One venue which is making this happen (and happen in style) is The Lost Alhambra in Leicester Square. The Show Must Go On is an immersive, cabaret dining experience which packs a punch. The night is complete with a 3 hour show, a 2 course meal, welcome cocktail and bottomless prosecco, you couldn't really ask for more!


Drag performer Poppycock hosts the night alongside some of musical theatre's best stars as they take us through a show via the score and some of the text. At this performance we got the treat of Chicago, which fits wonderfully into the dimly lit space of The Lost Alhambra; upcoming performances include Hairspray, Mamma Mia, Rocky Horror and Priscilla Queen of the Desert.


In theory, this is like any other cabaret but it feels so much stagier than anything I've experienced before. As you walk in you are greeted background music from some of the most popular and current shows, the staff all seem to love theatre and the whole thing feels like an immersive show, full to the brim with theatricality.




The venue itself is an instagrammer's dream, with pink decor, vintage feeling bathrooms and a Photo Booth to document the night (it's £4 and you get an email with the photos and gif as well as your print out keepsake).  The luxurious space is perfect to let your troubles slide away, and the unlimited prosecco which starts flowing from the moment of entry doesn't hurt either! Mention must also go to the staff who are excellent at not only being attentive but also create a wonderful atmosphere from the get go. You really feel part of something special and this only helps to get the room buzzing for the upcoming night of performance.


At this performance, Poppycock was the hostess with the mostest, welcoming us with a rousing rendition of Don't Rain on my Parade, before heading full throttle into the night, taking on various roles and perfecting the balance between ringleader, comedian and vocal dynamo. Laura Tyrer reprises her West End role as Velma Kelly, with Haley Flaherty as her partner in crime, Roxie Hart and Oliver Tompsett as the quick talking lawyer, Billy Flynn. Poppycock takes on basically every other role from Amos Hart to Mary Sunshine.


Each of the performers show off their impeccable talent and really transport us to the world of Chicago. An audience full of prosecco can definitely be noisy but the cast do an exceptional job of keeping everyone engaged and giving a truly top notch performance. Particularly impressive is the three-person Cell Block Tango and the energetic, high-kick filled I Can't Do It Alone.




The tickets start at £50 for everything and 1 hour of prosecco, with the top price being £65 for 2 hours of prosecco. It sounds a little pricey but for the amount and quality of the evening it's well worth it; plus the 10pm curfew means you can have an excellent night out and still be in bed at a reasonable time! I would certainly love a trip back, would weekly be too excessive?


The Chicago theme was excellent and the future performances are sure to be just as good. If you're looking for a way to get your theatre fix, look no further than The Show Must Go On. Not only is this a spectacularly wonderful night out but it's also a beacon of hope for the future of theatre. Get yourselves down to Leicester Square and live your best stagey life.

The Show Must Go On, The Lost Alhambra | Review

Monday, 12 October 2020

Sunday, 4 October 2020

Cabaret All Stars, Proud Embankment | Review


Proud Cabaret
Proud Embankment
Reviewed on Friday 2nd October 2020 by Olivia Mitchell 
★★★★

With theatrical nights out so few and far between (for obvious reasons) each opportunity to experience live performance is a real treat. With the weather getting colder and the nights getting longer, Proud Cabaret is a perfect remedy for the gloom which is so often prevalent these days, and is a treat for anyone craving some glitz and glam in their lives; plus you get to see West End superstar Kerry Ellis headline the night.

The evening takes place at Proud Embankment, a bustling venue under the arches of Waterloo bridge. You're escorted in by ushers draped in feathers and sparkles (including a glitzy face mask, of course) and it almost feels like entering a speak easy where unknown adventures will take place. The tables in the venue are socially distanced and you are asked to wear your own face mask any time you stand up or move around. As well as the performances the ticket includes a wonderful Japanese fusion three-course meal and a welcome cocktail, provided by head chef, Antonio Vacca. The food is outstanding, and a show in itself.

The show/event itself occurs in the round over two levels. Each table has a great view of the action and the varying levels of the acts themselves means every view is completely unique. The night is jam packed with world class circus and cabaret performers who keep you on the edge of your seat and completely invested from start to finish. The whole thing feels very vintage but with a modern twist; there's classic burlesque numbers mixed in with mime, sword swallowing and aerial work. There's no story or dramatic structure as such but the whole thing flows well and feels very dreamlike. Each week features a slightly different line up but they are all high class and high quality.

The through-line of the show is Kerry Ellis who appears periodically throughout the evening to wrap us around her finger with her powerhouse vocals. She is a certified star who controls the stage with elegance and power in perfect balance. Ellis' rendition of Diamonds Are Forever is completely brilliant and like each song, is followed by rapturous applause. 

It's a treat to see any sort of live performance these days, but performances of such high standards make it even more of a treat. A night of decadence which evokes the Jazz age, Cabaret All Stars is definitely worth a visit.

Cabaret All Stars, Proud Embankment | Review

Sunday, 4 October 2020

Saturday, 7 July 2018

Champagne for Clementine, Live at Zedel | Review


Champagne for Clementine
Live at Zedel: The Crazy Coqs
Reviewed on Wednesday 4th July 2018 by Nicola Louise 
★★★★★

When I stepped into the theatre bar, I honestly didn’t know what to expect, I was guided to my seat and received table service straight away- so far so good. I am of course, talking about Live at Zedel where I was lucky enough to enjoy the Clementine Show... think Barbie on broadway.

The night consisted of Clementine the living doll, her dresser, Bobby Pin (Mark Esaias), Yvette the Usher, (Ruth Calkin) and a range of puppets. 

The cast worked well together, bringing comedy, puppetry and broadway together under one roof. There were special appearances from Ricky the Rooster, who, if sitting in the front row, gets a bit flirty! I should know, I was in the firing zone.

Clementine was great at the over dramatisation of songs she was ‘singing’ too, the over the top performance added to the charm of the whole thing.


During the show, Bobby and Yvette got the chance to show their thing as well. This show loves and thrives on audience participation that works wonderfully well.

The cast and crew for this show did an amazing job for such a small room, in a short space of time, it’s a perfect show to take in before a night out, it’s upbeat, fun and funny, I left the theatre singing and feeling uplifted. 

I highly recommend this show, grab some dinner first at Brasserie Zeldel then head on through the foyer into the bar for the Cabaret show you won’t regret seeing.

Champagne for Clementine, Live at Zedel | Review

Saturday, 7 July 2018

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

I Wish My Life Were Like a Musical, Live at Zedel | Review


I Wish My Life Were Like a Musical
Live at Zedel: The Crazy Coqs 
Reviewed on Tuesday 10th April 2018 by Olivia Mitchell 
★★★

If you've ever wanted to be a musical theatre performer– you might want to see this funny and exaggerated show about landing a role, that highlights the many, many hardships you will face.

With music and lyrics by Alexander S. Barmange, this show, although highlighting truths, is a parody of the musical theatre world which cleverly mixes in famous melodies and lyrics whilst taking us on the journey of a drama school graduate, to a theatrical diva.

The songs are not masterpieces but are well written to exemplify things musical theatre performers and fans experience. The performers do a wonderful job of bringing them to life and showcasing their stellar vocals. My personal favourite was Suzie Mather who's stunning soprano voice, alongside her bubbly personality made her solo performances really stand out. Her song I Love to Sing was especially humourous. I can definitely imagine her being the MirandaSings of the Musical Theatre world!

Liam Tamne's smooth, buttery voice worked well in both his solo and ensemble numbers and his funny but truthful song about being an understudy was particularly memorable.

The ever dapper Oliver Savile was also wonderful, namely in A Serious Actor where he discusses the perils of being typecast in musicals and his number with Suzie about a crazy stalker fan!

Diana Vickers performed her songs well but did seem to struggle at times, especially in the more delicate parts of the songs. She gave a nice performance though and My Leading Man was very relatable!!

At only 75 minutes, I Wish My Life Were Like a Musical is entertaining and somewhat insightful into the musical theatre world but at times it did feel repetitive and a little try-hard. However, for something fun and light-hearted, especially for those wanting to break into the theatre world, it's worth a view!

I Wish My Life Were Like a Musical runs at the Zedel until April 17th.

I Wish My Life Were Like a Musical, Live at Zedel | Review

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

La Soiree, Aldwych Theatre | Review


La Soiree
Aldwych Theatre 
Reviewed on Monday 4th December 2017 by Olivia Mitchell 
★★★

La Soiree is an Australian-born variety show which premiered in London in 2010. Evolved from La Clique which debuted at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2004, it features a whole roster of artists and acrobatics and definitely makes for an entertaining night.

Whilst it is entertaining, I must say this I don't feel that The Aldwych is the perfect venue to showcase it. Being too close to the front or too far back means you miss a lot of the action. I also feel that the large space of the Aldwych makes the show feel commercialised and takes away the intimate feel which is so special in variety performances; the way the round has been created also prohibits the freedom for some acts. Although the theatre is large, the way the stage has been designed means the acts have very little space in which to showcase themselves.

However, the show itself has some spectacular moments and is full of energy. Personal favourite moments included LJ Marles's aerial performance to 'Dirty Diana', Mallakhamb India's exhilarating act in which they spring up a pole with extreme ease and agility and Amy G's hilarious flamenco scene in which an audience member, Willy, was hilarious placed in the action. Her quick wit brought on side-splitting laughter!

Although I enjoyed most of the acts, I felt the pacing was a little funny and some things fell as little flat. The Daredevil Chicken act for example, was a complete 180 on what had come before and was not to my taste. Whilst throwing pieces of banana from one mouth to another is very impressive when I can't even catch one piece of popcorn, macerated food being spat into one another's mouths is not for me. Of course this is done to get a reaction but didn't feel to me like it fit with the rest of the show.

Overall however, I did enjoy the show. It's genuinely funny and extremely impressive. From Fancy Chance swirling from the ceiling by her hair to Leon and Klodi's emotive dance, there's definitely something everyone will enjoy and it's the perfect show to have a little tipple at in the build up to Christmas!

For tickets and information about the show, visit https://www.londonboxoffice.co.uk

photo credit: Brinkhoff Mogenburg


La Soiree, Aldwych Theatre | Review

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Monday, 4 December 2017

Velma Celli's West End Christmas, Leicester Square | Review


Velma Celli's West End Christmas (Concert) 
Christmas in Leicester Square
Reviewed on Sunday 3rd December 2017 by Olivia Mitchell 
★★★★★

Yesterday evening I hot-footed it from the Charing Cross theatre seeing Marisha Wallace's Soul Holiday concert, to the Spiegeltent in Leicester Square to see Velma Celli in concert and it was so worth the dash. 

Velma Celli is the alter ego of West End performer, Ian Stroughair who's credits include Rent, Chicago and Cats; she is a fiery, shocking diva with the voice that dreams are made of! The first song set the tone for the concert with Velma entering from the back of the venue with a swooping, full of key changes version of 'Walking in the Air'. From then on it was joke after joke and belter after belter and was honestly one of the best and most entertaining concerts I've been to.

This alternative festive takeover was full of Christmas hit after Christmas hit and would have made even the coldest person feel festive. A personal highlight (although there were many) was Velma's rendition of 'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas' which was heartfelt and a lovely moment.

The cabaret also featured two of the West End's finest: Liam Tamne and Rachel Tucker (who I'd already seen at Marisha's concert!) who gave some fantastic performances. Rachel and Velma's duet of 'Fairtytale of New York' was absolutely hilarious and reminded me of many drunken Christmas nights! Liam showed off his smooth voice and crystal clear riffs in 'Last Christmas' whilst Rachel gave a moving performance of Joni Mitchell's, 'River'.

Overall this was just a fantastic night; Velma Celli is a born performer with a voice and personality that instantly draws the audience in and keeps them until the very last moment. If you want a hilarious night full of incredible talent then get yourself along to any of Velma Celli's future shows and be sure to download her recently released, self titled album. 

Velma Celli's West End Christmas, Leicester Square | Review

Monday, 4 December 2017

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Cabaret (UK Tour), Edinburgh Playhouse | Review


Cabaret (UK Tour)
Edinburgh Playhouse 
Reviewed on Tuesday 14th November 2017 by Liv Ancell
★★★★★

With the two headliners of this show – Will Young and Louise Redknapp - being bona-fide British primetime celebrities and regular tabloid fodder, its no wonder that Edinburgh turned out in force to see Cabaret, director Rufus Norris’ latest show.


While Louise and Will may have been the initial draw for some, they will have no doubt left the theatre feeling utterly bowled over by the timeless storyline, endearing characters, and unbeatable music of Cabaret.


What a test of stamina this show is for all involved! The frantically pulsating and contorting cast whirl around the stage at an alarming rate. The choreography was a level above anything else I’ve seen in recent times – the cast members pulled off gruelling moves which were positively acrobatic and perfectly timed.


Belting out Cabaret’s signature songs must be a challenging task; this musical feat was made even more impressive while simultaneously cartwheeling, gyrating, prancing and frolicking. Such sophisticated choreography from Javier du Frutos – especially in Wilkommen and The Money Song – really reinforced this show’s status as world-class.



Louise Redknapp gave everything to this performance, and the volumes to her voice will be sure to silence anybody who may have been skeptical about whether her popstar voice would survive a stage performance. From charming to sultry, to showgirl and seductive, her singing was a complete triumph. Charles Hagerty played Clifford Bradshaw wonderfully; embodying the morally righteous and somewhat naïve American author. His acting was second to none and he subtly conveyed an impressive range of emotions on stage.


This being said, Will Young is just in a class of his own. He wears the garb of the inimitable Emcee with utter brilliance. With incredible expression and by masterful voice control, Will gave the ultimate portrayal of the quirky and coquettish clown of the Berlin cabaret scene. His Emcee was equal parts playful and dark, and his German accent and sing-song voice was perfectly measured.


The raciness and nudity in the show was perfectly balanced by a more despairing and serious storyline. Nazi undercurrents perfectly underpinned the storyline, with the rising prejudice of the time tastefully portrayed and immortalised in this production. The ever endearing Herr Shultz – our patient and adorable Jewish man – was a stand-out character, and Linal Haft gave a commendable performance in this crucial role. His companion, Fraulein Kost (Basienka Blake) was equally commanding, and she too gave a convincing performance, not breaking her accent even during song.


The final scene – which I won’t give away – was sad and beautiful. The high tempo energy of Cabaret couldn’t keep going forever, and it left viewers with a lesson in history to remember. This show is incredible; it will invoke all sorts of emotions, including wonder, amazement and awe. I’d highly recommend going along if it comes to a theatre near you next; it’s absolutely unmissable!

Cabaret is at the Edinburgh Playhouse until November 18th before continuing its tour.

Photo credit: Pamela Raith

Cabaret (UK Tour), Edinburgh Playhouse | Review

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Cabaret (UK Tour), New Wimbledon Theatre | Review


Cabaret (UK Tour)
New Wimbledon Theatre
Reviewed on Friday September 22nd 2017 by Olivia Mitchell
★★

After Germany's defeat in World War 1, the treaty of Versaille was set out to totally humiliate the nation; inflation rocketed and the economy flew into a downward spiral. This was eventually stabilised but people had seen themselves and those around them lose everything so the idea of 'seizing the day' was adopted and Berlin became a heaving Bohemian world where you lived to enjoy the here and now. This is when we are thrown into the world of Cabaret. It's 1930 New Years Eve, a young American writer, Clifford Bradshaw has just arrived in Berlin and is ready to see what the city has to offer.

The show is a full on combination of things with dance, drink and drugs taking the lead as people relished in the decadent, censorship free lifestyle. The set by Katrina Lindsay manages to be bright and dark at the same time. There are moments of intense glitz and glam with flashing lights and moving sets but also moments of dim, dark spaces which imply what's to come as the golden age passes. The rise of fascism is extremely prevalent in Rufus Norris' production especially during the chilling final scene of act 1 when the Emcee turns into a puppet master, holding overgrown children at the end of strings as he sings the Aryan folk song Tomorrow Belongs To Me.

As the Emcee, Will Young is outstanding, suitably wacky but all-knowing at once. His comedic timing is wonderful as he soars through the notes with a sinister hint always shining through. Young is certainly the star of this show and it's clear why he was asked back to be part of the tour and his balloon clad rendition of Money was the stand out performance of the production for me. 

Louise Redknapp takes on the iconic role of Sally Bowles, the British showgirl who has lost her way. Unfortunately Redknapp's performance fell flat at times; instead of showing a crumbling, emotional girl she was decadent, bold and showed very minimal signs of her struggle. At times her voice was strong but fell flat on her big number, Maybe This Time. Sally Bowles was originally written to be a somewhat second rate performer which is why she has previously been cast as an actress who can sing and opposed to a singer who can act however, Louise kind of fell in between the two and I felt a little underwhelmed. 

Charles Hagerty is strong as Clifford, developing his various relationships well. His voice is incredibly strong and his performance of Why Should I Wake Up? is a stand out moment. A large part of the action has to do with Clifford's landlady Fräulein Schneider (Susan Penhaligon) and her relationship with the local Jewish fruit seller (Linal Schultz) as their normal lives begin to be put in jeopardy. The pair are great together and their affection for one another is very sweet to see.

This show is worth seeing for Young's performance and for the bold imaginative design and choreography but it needs more oomph overall.

Cabaret (UK Tour), New Wimbledon Theatre | Review

Saturday, 23 September 2017