Bristol Hippodrome

Cabaret September 2013

  • Above an invitation to come to the Kabaret and right Will Young as Emcee. 
    PHOTO: Keith Pattison

Dark and decadent Will Young is the darling of the musical Cabaret which opened for four nights only this week at the Bristol Hippodrome.

And the first Pop Idol winner is a sensational show-stopping hit.

Set in Berlin and based on pre-war experiences of author Christopher Isherwood, Cabaret tells the story of a city which in the 1930s is swinging – both ways.

The Bristol Hippodrome has staged some challenging productions in recent months dealing with sexism (Working Nine To Five), racism (Save The Last Dance For Me and Hairspray) and sadomasochism (Rocky Horror Show).

Cabaret challlenges a lot of isms by laying bare anti-Semitism and homophobia with the rise of fascism in Germany in the decade leading up to World World 2.

There are some memorable big numbers including Money Makes The World Go Round, Two Ladies, Maybe This Time and the title song Cabaret.

In parts it isn’t easy to watch but it has an ‘interesting and smile-provoking’ full frontal moment and a chilling bare bottoms finale.

While the Rufus Norris production of the Kander and Ebb’s musical doesn’t have the clownish bounce of the film version starring Liza Minnelli and Joel Grey despite the gloom it is gripping.

The principal players including Will (Emcee), television and stage actor Matt Rawle as budding author Cliff and Siobhan Dillon, a Marie finalist, as the fruitcake Kit Kat Klub singer Sally Bowles are magnificent.

Also deserving a mention are former New Seeker Lyn Paul (Fraulein Schneider), Shakespearian actor Linal Haft (Herr Schultz) and star of film and stage Valerie Cutko (Fraulein Kost).

Apart from the annoying roll-on, roll-off bedsit bed – which looked as if it was on loan from the BRI – the set is great and the choreography and costumes wonderful.


Carol Deacon