Audiences around the country are familiar with the hit musical Cabaret, thanks to its catchy songs penned by John Kander and Fred Ebb. Cabaret is a musical based on John Van Druten’s 1951 play I Am a Camera, which in turn was adapted from the 1939 short novel Goodbye to Berlin by Christopher Isherwood. Set in 1931 Berlin as the Nazis are rising to power, it focuses on the nightlife at the seedy Kit Kat Club.
The stage musical is written by Christopher Isherwood with music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb. The 1966 Broadway production became a huge hit and spawned a 1972 film directed by Bob Fosse and starring Liza Minnelli, Michael York and Joel Grey. Subsequently numerous other productions have followed.
It has a compelling plot put together by Christopher Isherwood. With this in mind it is likely that any new production of Cabaret coming to London’s West End is likely to attract considerable support, no matter who they cast in the lead roles.
The casting of the big names only adds to the excitement as Cabaret the musical lands at the Savoy Theatre in London’s West End. Celebrity pop star and singing sensation Will Young stars in the role of Emcee and Eastenders’ actress Michelle Ryan in the iconic part of Sally Bowles. To add to this impressive list the director is Rufus Norris who says it has the makings to become blockbuster West End hit!
The under-lying premise of the show is the story of blossoming romance and the fun and excitement of the Kit Kat Club, taking place during the contrasting actions of the Nazi party against a back-drop of Berlin between the two World Wars.
Cabaret is set in Berlin in the 1930s and it is here we are introduced to a range of characters at the infamous night club, the Kit Kat Club. The Kit Kat Club is the popular venue for an eclectic collection of individuals who frequent the bar to escape and take a break from the Nazi regime, whose presence casts an ominous shadow over all of Europe.
19 year-old English cabaret artist Sally Bowles, one of the main characters, receives a lot of unwanted attention from all quarters and the story revolves around her relationship with the young writer Cliff Bradshaw. Bradshaw is an American who travelled to Berlin to seek a secure job, but arrives to find the horror of the Nazi regime. On the other hand there is also Ernst Ludwig who is himself a Nazi. This creates exciting tension in the dynamic between the characters.
A sub-plot involves the doomed romance between German boarding house owner Fräulein Schneider and her elderly suitor Herr Schultz, a Jewish fruit vendor.
Overseeing the action is “Emcee”, Master of Ceremonies at the Kit Kat Club, which serves as a constant metaphor for the tenuous and threatening state of late Weimar Germany throughout the show.
As Cabaret is a high profile musical, London theatre audiences can also enjoy the well-known numbers such as Tomorrow Belongs to Me, The Money Song, Maybe this Time, Perfectly Marvellous and It Couldn’t Please Me More, among many others.
Will Young heads to the London stage on the back of a successful music career that has ranged from winning the first series of Pop Idol to scoring a series of number one hit singles and successful albums.
The production makes its way back to the West End in the same year that London audiences can witness other shows in London like The Bodyguard at the Adelphi Theatre and Spamalot at the Harold Pinter Theatre.
Cabaret opens at London’s Savoy Theatre from Wednesday 3rd October 2012 following a regional theatre tour around the UK prior to this.