AD: Gifted Tickets (also contains spoilers)
I’ve really been enjoying visiting The New Theatre lately. So far over the past couple of months, we’ve seen the Wizard of Oz Pantomime, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat and most recently, Cabaret.
I knew very little about Cabaret before seeing it – I just knew there was singing and dancing and stockings and suspenders…
The story of Cabaret is set in Germany in 1931 – just before World War 2 when the Nazis are rising to power. It follows American writer Clifford Bradshaw as he arrives in Berlin where he meets Ernst Ludwig who offers him a job and recommends somewhere to stay. Cliff meets Sally Bowles a cabaret performer at the seedy Kit Kat Club and the pair end up living together and Sally becomes pregnant. Unsure of who the father is, she plans to have it aborted but Cliff realises that it could be his baby and persuades her that she could keep it and they could be happy together. They enjoy living together for a while but ultimately, she has an abortion and Cliff goes back to America.
There is a subplot involving the owner of the building that Cliff stays in, Frauline Schnieder and her gentleman friend Herr Schulz, a Jewish fruit shop owner. They are both old and lonely and decide it wouldn’t be a bad idea to get married so that they each had someone. But when Herr Schulz’s fruit shop is attacked, Schnieder fears that it would be dangerous to get so involved with a Jew and calls off the engagement.
The cast was absolutely wonderful. John Partridge (you might know his as Christian, Janes brother in Eastenders) played the part of the Emcee superbly. Not his first stage production, he was completely at home on the stage and fed off the audience.
Sally Bowles, played by Kara Lily Hayworth was a wonderful character. Her mixed emotions were so well put across but for me, the star of the show was Anita Harris, who first rose to fame as a singer in the 1960s and has appeared both on-screen (Follow That Camel and Carry on Doctor) and on stage, most notably as Grizelda in the West End’s Cats. Her voice was incredible and so powerful. A wonderfully loveable and relatable character. Her songs ‘So What’ and ‘The Pineapple song’ were among my favourites of the entire show, along with the hilarious ‘Two Ladies’ – I hadn’t expected to see a giraffe, let’s put it that way!
Overall, a fantastic show, wonderfull glitzy music, nudity, humour all with a dark political undertone. A must-see.
You can catch Cabaret at the New Theatre, Peterborough until this weekend.