"Cabaret", as we all know, is a musical stage show and a film that takes place in 1930s Berlin during the rise of Nazi Germany. The story follows the intertwined lives of an American writer and a British cabaret performer as they navigate the decadent and dangerous world of Berlin's nightlife scene.
I finally made it to the Kit Kat club to experience a new vision of Cabaret, and it certainly didn't disapoint.
It was, as you would hope; sexy, seedy and subversive. With the gut punch of that devasting ending.
You are welcomed into the club with a shot of (thankfully watered down) Tequila. Led down narrow stairs and along narrow corridors you get a voyeuristic thrill as you encounter artists applying their make up, or slow dancing behind tulle curtains. Performers are dotted in corners, drawing us into the world before the show even begins.
I tried to order a drink at the bar, but was shooed away to make space for the performance on the bar, led by the joyful trill of the accordion with stark contract of the haunted violin made way for a beautiful twisted and fanciful dance performance.
Once seated, with the stage in the round inside the gorgeous antiquated theatre, it’s clear that whole production is going to be beautifully intimate, with the cast moving through the audience and approaching the stage from the corners. It creates a wonderfully immersive experience.
As the cabaret dancers take to the stage,we are propelled into 1920s Berlin, into the Cabaret club where you can leave your troubles at the door.
John McCrae an established stage actor with fame from 'Everybody's Talking About Jamie' delivers a powerful performance as Emcee, he has an exquisite physicality that brings both light frivolity and twisted horror to life. He's sublime actually, to watch him move through the production as the omnipresent figure guiding the action with a sanguine smile. He's hedonistic and he's dark.
Amiee Lou Wood, known for TV role in Sex Education, delivers a beautiful and vulnerable performance of sally Bowles, that hits all the right notes. Liza Minelli is a hard act to follow and Aimee makes the role her own and hits those notes.
As for the ending, well, we the audience are behind Cliff, we know what's coming, which makes Herr Schultz's reaction all the more devastating.
I have been a fan of Cabaret ever since it first entered my consciousness.
It's the darkness which confounds me and the attempts to continue each day in the face of a terrible and torturous reality
It's the cast playing the old man and the German lady who deliver the devastating conclusion. Their dynamic changes dramatically throughout the performance, leading to a heartbreaking ending that left me in tears.
Despite the emotional ending, this show is a ton of fun, with the first act lasting an hour and 40 minutes and offering plenty of elation and excitement and a glimpse into the seedy but delicious underbelly of 1030’s Berlin. The second half flies by at a breakneck pace, kicking straight off with the Germans showing up and leading to the devastating finale.
All in all, Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club is an extraordinary performance that you won't want to miss. The intimate setting, immersive experience, and incredible cast make for a night that is both sexy and thrilling. It’s a night out that you won’t ever forget.
You can still get tickets HERE.