Hexagon Theatre, 8 – 13 June 2009
Reviewed for the Maidenhead Advertiser
Wayne Sleep and I’d Do Anything runner-up Samantha Barks stole the show in this touring version of the award-winning musical.
As the Emcee of the Kit Kat Klub, the bar in Berlin around which the story revolves, Sleep was unsettling, even grotesque at times. His chalky face and wheedling, nasal delivery made him seem something other than human. Unfortunately he proved mortal after all, as the balance of power shifted away from him (and the fun-loving side of 1930s Germany) towards Nazi Ernst Ludwig (Karl Moffatt).
As Sally Bowles, queen of the Klub, Barks excelled at sly glances, fluttering eyelashes and gin-soaked glamour. She seemed hunched rather than poised during big solo number ‘Cabaret’, but vocally she nailed every nuance from playful through mournful to strident, and was pitch-perfect throughout.
Loads of lacy lingerie and an amazing set studded with lightbulbs completed this sexually-charged production.
Written by Joe Masteroff (book), John Kander (music) and Fred Ebb (lyrics)
Crew includes Rufus Norris (director), Katrina Lindsay (designer), Javier de Frutos (choreographer), Jean Kalman (lighting designer) and Ben Harrison (sound designer)
Cast includes Samantha Barks (Sally Bowles), Henry Luxemburg (Clifford Bradshaw) and Wayne Sleep (Emcee)