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Cabaret – UK Tour Review

Life is a Cabaret old chum, go see the Cabaret!

Set in early 1930s, the KitKat Club opens the doors to life in Berlin during this troubling time where anything goes; sex, drugs, and American Jazz. The attitude of the times reflected in the view of “live for today”. 

John Partridge, Emcee of the club, guides the audience through the threads of the show, bringing a very dry and dark humour to proceedings. John Partridge plays the sinister role well, his demeanour, wit and enthusiasm for the part all carry a dark side that is reminiscent of the child catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, always inviting you in to be part of the debauchery.

Into it enters an aspiring American author, Cliff, played by Charles Haggerty who reprises the role he played on the 2017 tour. He portrays the role well, acting as the calming, morale based centre of the manic world around him.

He takes lodgings with Fraulein Schneider (Anita Harris), who despite her ageing years, has a wit and charm that ingratiates her, along with her man friend, Herr Schultz (James Paterson), to the audience. Anita Harris, plays the Fraulein with all the grace and poise of a truly skilled actress, her vocals perfectly delivered. 

Cliff meets the carefree, impetuous Sally Bowles at the KitKat Club, and a relationship ensues through her dogged chasing of him. Their relationship always being driven by her whimsical ways and his boyish naivety on life. Kara Lily Hayworth brings emotion to the role, on the outside Sally is the happy go lucky girl, but underneath are home truths about her past which show her vulnerability. Vocally, Kara delivers a memorable rendition of ‘Maybe this time”, with all her emotions coming to the fore.

As the show progresses, the impending situation in Germany is highlighted with a number of fractures appearing in relationships, and as Emcee, John Partridge, He is quick to antagonise his compatriots and mimic their attitudes and beliefs, reminding the audience you shouldn’t judge a person by what they are, but who they are. 

The show ends just prior to war, as Cliff decides it’s time to go and escape the oncoming situation, he is desperate for Sally to go with him, but she is unable to leave the love of her life – the pull of the cabaret being stronger than her love for Cliff.  Even the Emcee is feeling a vulnerability, re-entering with the line “all this hatred is exhausting”, and suddenly you see a different side to the perpetual entertainer, laying himself out as just another man.

Cabaret, as you can imagine, leaves very little to the imagination sexually, but there’s always a dark under current, that brings an unimagined, unnerving twist to the end of the show, but that is for the audience to discover for themselves…  

Cabaret is on Tour across the UK and Ireland into 2010, see below for tour dates:

3 – 7 September 2019
Wolverhampton Grand

10 – 14 September 2019
Nottingham Theatre Royal

17 – 21 September 2019
The Hawth Crawley

24 – 28 September 2019
Storyhouse Chester

1 – 5 October 2019
Bord Gais Energy Theatre Dublin

8 – 12 October 2019
Grand Opera House Belfast

15 – 19 October 2019
Curve Theatre Leicester

22 – 26 October 2019
Theatre Severn Shrewsbury

29 October – 2 November 2019
New Theatre Hull

5 – 9 November 2019
Edinburgh Festival Theatre

12 – 16 November 2019
His Majesty’s Theatre Aberdeen

19 – 23 November 2019
Malvern Festival Theatre

21 – 25 January 2020
New Theatre Peterborough

28 January – 1 February 2020
Sunderland Empire

4 – 8 February 2020
New Theatre Oxford

18 – 22 February 2020
New Theatre Wimbledon

25 – 29 February 2020
Palace Theatre Manchester

3 – 7 March 2020
Grand Theatre Leeds

10 – 14 March 2020
Marlowe Theatre Canterbury

17 – 21 March 2020
Sheffield Lyceum

24 – 28 March 2020
Wales Millennium Centre

31 March – 4 April 2020
Regent Theatre Stoke