Reviewed by Rosemary Knight
Cabaret, written by John Kander and Fred Ebb, is one of the greatest musicals of all time, so I was delighted to visit The Lowry theatre in Manchester to have the opportunity to watch this critically acclaimed version of the show, directed by Rufus Norris and produced by Bill Kenwright.
The show is set in Berlin in the 1930’s, just as the Nazi party are becoming powerful and most of the activity takes place in the seedy Kit Kat nightclub. Cliff Bradshaw, a young American who aspires to write his first novel, arrives in Berlin on New Year’s Eve and becomes involved the debauched, hedonistic world of cabaret.
Will Young stars as Emcee and right from the very beginning absolutely steals the show in every single scene. He is alternately funny, menacing and innocent and his singing voice is just incredible. The songs performed by him, Wilkommen, Two Ladies, Tomorrow Belongs To Me, If You Could See Her and The Money Song are the highlights of the show.
Ex Eternal singer and Strictly performer Louise Rednapp stars as Sally Bowles. Whilst she is undoubtedly very beautiful with a superb singing voice, I don’t believe she has the earthiness and sex appeal which I would usually attribute to Bowles. Her dancing skills are exceptional however and when she performed Mein Herr she deservedly received rapturous applause from the audience.
Linal Haft as Herr Schultz and Susan Penhaligon as Frauline Schneider are superb in their portrayal of the elderly lovers whose relationship is doomed by the rise of the Nazi party. Charles Hagerty is also excellent as American wannabe novelist Clifford Bradshaw who becomes smitten by Bowles.
The stunning choreography by Javier De Frutos is sensational, with the dancers sexily clad in corsets and suspenders whirling and cartwheeling across the stage.
The final scene is shocking, with the audience leaving the theatre feeling chilled. Despite this dark, poignant ending, I really enjoyed this performance. Will Young is absolutely sensational, and the entire show is a joy to watch.
Tickets cost from £19 to £95.50 (booking fees may apply).
Cabaret is at The Lowry in Manchester from 7-11 November 2017, for more information or to book tickets visit www.thelowry.com or call the box office on 0843 208 6000.
The Lowry, Pier 8, Salford Quays, Manchester, M50 3AZ | 0843 208 6000