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Review: Cabaret at The Blackpool Opera House

On Thursday, I shimmered my way to The Opera House to watch Rufus Norris’s version of the popular theatrical production and film, Cabaret. Norris a multi-award winning theatre and opera director, whose debut feature film, Broken, opened the prestigious Cannes film festival in 2012. Exciting stuff. This adaptation stems from the 1966 Broadway musical, by Kander and Ebb, which was based on the novel The Berlin Stories (1939) by Christopher Isherwood and the 1951 play I Am a Camera.

Who knows what to expect when going to the theatre or seeing a musical?  I do love musicals and Will Young too. He seems like a popular chap but reality music shows and pop music isn’t always my thing. I do, however, love Liza’s Money Makes the World Go Round number in the film. Putting this aside, I took my seat in the age-old theatre of the Opera House and bam, there it was: lights, colour, Will Young and a very good PA system.

It was excellent entertainment from the very beginning and somehow I enjoyed it a lot more than the film. Sally Boules (played by Liza in the film and Siobhan Dillon here) cut a charismatic figure as did the rest of the cast, hollering all their numbers from the award-winning show including: Money Makes the World Go Round, Two Ladies, Maybe This Time and, of course, Cabaret.

The story centres around the Nazi’s coming to power in Weimar, Berlin, in 1931 and the lives of the two leads Emcee and sassy Sally Bowles, who perform nightly at the infamous Kit Kat Klub.  It’s here that Sally meets new arrival to the city, Brian Roberts. Sexual tension and decadence is the order of day so money is important but the characters are poor and life can be lack lustre outside of the club. The story is fun if not surreal.

The stage sets, orchestra, costumes, dance numbers and vocals were awesome and it was great to see a full theatre on a Thursday evening. Blackpool is so lucky to receive such great productions and whether you like Will Young or not his performance was award-winning. His lead character, Esmee, jollies the experience along and he brings it to life. Cabaret is a twisted, camp romp through an underground scene privy to few, and this Cabaret was a glimpse through a spy hole into another, smoky world.

Cabaret continues its tour of the UK until 7th December.

  • Show Comments (1)

  • Christo Heyworth

    I went to the Wednesday matinee with a friend, Claire, and you are right that it is the most stupendous show.
    In the film version which I love, the knockout number for me is Tomorrow Belongs To Me which in this show is staged quite differently, but with matching power, and what Tomorrow holds is graphically displayed at the finale – literally Awfully dreadful.
    Certainly star turn by Will Young who I had not expected to even get close to Joel Gray’s Oscar-winning portrayal of Emcee (Master of Ceremonies), but, for me, the standout performances were by Lyn Paul (formerly of The New Seekers, but transformed into Fraulein Schneider, the landlady) and top marks to Siobhan Dillon as a very saucy Sally.
    And the band are brilliant – if the tour comes to your town do go see – exceptional entertainment.

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