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Posted by : Jan_Pick on Sep 11, 2009 - 08:05 AM Archive
Birmingham - Touring Production

Bill Kenright Presents:
Based on the play by John Van Druten and stories by Christopher Isherwood
Book : Joe Masteroff: Music: John Kander: Lyrics: Fred Ebb
Birmingham Repertory Theatre
Tkts: 0121 236 4455
Runs: 2h, 20m: one interval: till 19th Sept 09
Start: 7.30 pm, Sats, 8pm: matinees, Thurs 2pm and Sat 3pm.
Jan Pick: 7.9.09

A Sensational Sizzler!

A triumphant return to the Birmingham Rep for Cabaret, first seen here last year, and it proves a glitzy night out. Once again the production stars the charismatic Wayne Sleep, who turns in a virtuoso performance as Emcee, with Siobhan Dillon, as the legendary Sally Bowles, the naďve, self-obsessed, but ultimately tragic heroine, emphatically proving that while a great singing voice is not an absolute necessity for the role it is certainly a pleasure to listen to, particularly in the poignant and haunting Maybe This Time, and the signature number Cabaret. They are ably supported by a company which displays a dazzling array of talents. The sexy, sleazy numbers of the Kit Kat Club are performed with raunchy panache, without disguising the darker side of this world of ‘divine decadence’.

Henry Luxemburg is engaging as the American, Clifford, who stumbles into this strange yet fascinating world, and as the elderly lovers, Fraulein Schneider and Herr Schultz, Jenny Logan and Matt Zimmerman charm the audience as their romance is gradually overshadowed by the increasing anti Semitism of the newly emerging Weimar Republic.

Music and choreography combine to make a stunning visual and auditory experience as the stage is transformed from street to lodging house to night club in the twinkle of an eye. The clever set works on different levels and areas of the stage, adding depth and variety to the proceedings, and an imaginative lighting design is used to great effect, particularly in the stunning final tableau lit in blood red. Stand out numbers include Two Ladies - a riot of innuendo between Sleep’s somewhat sleazy Emcee, Danni Bowen, as Fritzie and Lucy James as Helga – and the tender duet, It Couldn’t Please Me More, from Jenny Logan and Matt Zimmerman.

The Rep’s production oozes with undercurrents of violence and desperation conveying the brooding threat lurking in shadows of 1930s Berlin. While the extraordinary and morally ambiguous inhabitants of the Kit Kat Club sing, dance and play, the real world outside the Cabaret is spiralling into darkness.

Emcee: Wayne Sleep
Sally Bowles: Siobhan Dillon
Fraulein Schneider: Jenny Logan
Herr Schultz: Matt Zimmerman
Clifford Bradshaw: Henry Luxemburg
Ernst Ludwig: Karl Moffatt
Fraulein Kost: Basienka Blake
Fritzie: Danni Bowen
Hans (Young Nazi): Theo Cook
Frenchie: Jessica Ellen
Rosie: Nouska Hanly
Helga: Lucy James
Bobby: Hendrick January
Rudy: Alastair Postlethwaite
Lulu: Rebecca Scarrott
Victor: Benjamin Timothy
Texas: Cydney Uffindell-Phillips
Hamburg Helmut: Tom Woods

Musical Director/Keyboards I: Tom de Keyser
Assistant Musical Director/Keyboards II: Matthew J Loughran
Keyboards III: Martyn Stringer
Banjo/Acoustic Guitar/Hawaiian Guitar: Frank Dawkins
Trumpet/Flugel: Chris Hatcliffe
Tenor Trombone/Bass Trombone: Chris Cole
Clarinet/Alto/Tenor Sax: Anthony Lawton
Clarinet/Baritone Sax: Andy Lovell
Drums/Percussion: Jon Hooper

Creative Team:
Director: Rufus Norris
Designer: Katrina Lindsay
Choreographer: Javier De Frutos
Musical Supervisor: David Steadman
Musical Director: Tom de Keyser
Sound Designer: Ben Harrison
Lighting Designer: Jean Kalman
Associate Director: Tim Welton
Associate Lighting Designer: Fiona Simpson
Assistant to Choreographer: Josephine Daervill-Mills

For Cabaret:
Company Stage Manager: Andy Ralph
DSM: Jakki Julnes
Technical SM: Chris Tonini
Technical ASM: Sam Trench
ASM: Jill Russell
Wardrobe Department: Scott Sheady
Wigs: Nikki Bird
Sound No.1: Christopher James
Sound No.2: Andy Fugle
Technical Swing: Matt Harper
Lighting Programmer: Victoria Brennan
Fight Director: Terry King
Head of Touring Lighting: Natania Henry
Deputy Touring Lighting: Tom Campbell
Keyboard Programmer: Gareth Hew Davies
Costume Supervisor: Sue Nightingale
Costume Co-ordinator: Corrie Darling
Hair by: Alix B
Dance Captains: Rebecca Scarrott / Cydney Uffindell-Phillips
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