It’s been 15 years since Will Young won Pop Idol (that’s what came before the X Factor, kids!) and we still bring up how nuts my mum went when it was announced. She shouted so loud that I found out he won before the TV upstairs had even got to that part.
When I saw that Will Young was going to be performing in Cabaret at the New Theatre in Cardiff I knew I wanted to take my mum along, just us two.
Will Young alongside Louise Redknapp (From Strictly and the girl group Eternal, amongst lots of other things) and an ensemble of amazingly talented cast members are performing the award winning production of Kander and Ebb’s musical Cabaret.
I went into this performance completely unknowing, I knew some of the iconic songs but not really anything about the plot or the characters. I was so impressed by everything I saw, from the cast to the staging. It all helped tell the delicate yet powerful story so well.
The show, set in Berlin in the year 1930 – 1931 highlights the struggle of pre WWII Germany and the tension that was growing between the Nazi’s and Jewish people. Depicting the choice (or lack of) German’s had as the Nazi’s rose to power. We start the show by meeting Cliff (played by Charles Hagerty), an American writer who has come to Berlin to write his novel, throughout the acts we see him find out more about himself and he ends up becoming the voice of reason against what the Nazi’s stand for all the while the other characters are okay to sit idly by.
The show is risque from the get go and does contain some nudity. There is comedy running throughout, although at some points I found it got a little slow… which I think was down to how exciting and big some acts were it made you crave more of that.
Will Young’s performance as the Emcee was taken so well from the first second he comes on stage, the cute innocence, funny remarks and sinister feel he portrayed added so much to the plot and nodded to the underlying tensions going on at the time in Germany. I’ve not seen anyone else play the role so have nothing to compare it to but from how well he was received on the night, I can tell he did it justice.
Louise Redknapp grew throughout the show as Sally Bowles, I found her a little tentative at first while dancing on the stairs (which I can’t blame her for, I would have been) but as the show went on she really got into the role. Her voice was powerful but at times a little out done by the music, which she quickly recovered. If I didn’t know this was her theatrical debet I would never have guessed. Louise held her own in scenes alone and with other cast members and was an absolute joy to watch.
We also get to watch the relationship grow between Fraulein Schneider (Susan Penhaligon) and Herr Schultz (Linal Haft) and how the rise of Nazi Germany effected it.
My favourite part of the show was ACT 1, Scene 5 – We see Cliff and Sally meet, shortly after she heads on stage and at this point we the audience get to see two parts of the plot unfold. Cliff backstage and Sally on stage at the same time. The scene was set up perfectly and it made me feel like I was back stage looking out onto Sally and the other dancers.
I thought the whole show was strong and whether you’ve seen Cabaret before or you’re new to the story then there’s so much to find out and love about it.
Cabaret will be at The New Theatre, Cardiff from 17th-21st October but tickets are VERY limited so you’ll have to act fast. The tour will be continuing until the 9th December across the UK.
Until the next post,
Are and Pops.
I received tickets for the purpose of this review, all opinions are my own and honest.
I’m not a critic I just gave my honest opinion about the show. *kabaret image source from theatre.