Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Cabaret at Nottingham Theatre Royal REVIEW

Photo by Jim Marks
As if Cabaret the musical didn't have enough to offer already with its irresistible tale of 30s Germany's hedonistic excesses, two love stories, those forever-fantastic Kander and Ebb numbers, and the looming nightmarish political backdrop, this current revival adds even more jaw-dropping thrills, interpretations and shocks that keep coming and tumbling on and right out at you with its astoundingly imaginative staging and choreography and a superb cast, including Michelle Ryan, Will Young and Sian Phillips, who sizzle so hot, they threaten to catch fire at any moment.

You've seen her do cockney and bionic now watch her sing, dance and do posh, Michelle Ryan is funny, sweet and charming, has a very lovely voice and pulls off the sensationally inventive and acrobatic dance routines with great flair, cartwheeling and sweet-talking her way into aspiring novelist Clifford Bradshaw's affections and bedroom. Beautiful, with a perfect figure, confidentially, we'd liked to have seen more things done with her costume and a more defined unique look created for this girl who could so easily carry anything off.

The biggest revelation is an almighty Will Young, who explodes onto stage in all sorts of ways that you've never seen him before or could even imagine. It's the performance of a lifetime, he cavorts and preens and gyrates and thrashes around and teeters from unnerving to frolicsome to terrifying. Like a man demented and possessed, he beguiles and pouts and wails and rants- oh, and he can sing too. If you're not a Will Young fan he will wow you and win you over forever, if you are a fan you get to see him in leather hotpants, it's a win-win situation.

A surprisingly mostly middle-aged and middle of the road audience didn't in fact seem that surprised at all by the full frontal (and rear) nudity, guy on guy snogging and cocaine-snorting, enthusiastically responding to the hugely entertaining, emotionally charged, sinister and dark edged fairground grotesque carnival atmosphere of this exceptional show.

From Sally Bowles' brilliantly intricate entrance Mein Herr, to the hilarious bottomless-bed setting of Two Ladies, the petrifying puppetry of Tomorrow Belongs To Me and the chillingly unforgettable finale, it's a musical theatre masterpiece, a spectacle of epic and awesome proportions, confidentially, whether you happen to be rich or not, we don't care how you get the money, just do whatever it takes and buy a ticket for this show (and get ready to get on your feet for the ovation at the end.)

Cabaret is at Nottingham Theatre Royal September 10-15. Ticket prices, times and full details are available on their website here


  1. This review is spot on! I agree with everything in it. Go and see this (if you can get in).

  2. WOW....brilliant.
    How did they do "two ladies"...it was so funny.
    "Tomorrow belongs to me" made my hair stand on end.
    Michelle Ryans performance was first class and original, and as for Will Young...multi talented....superb acting, dancing, singing....and skipping !


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