Cabaret @ Playhouse Theatre / Kit Kat Club

Rating: 4.5/5
Running until: 1st October 2022 (Eddie Redmayne and Jessie Buckley appear until 19th March)
Ticket link: https://kitkat.club/cabaret-london/tickets/

My first theatre trip of the year and what a start to the year. Myself and my friends Leah and Dana finally got to experience Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club having had the tickets booked for almost 6 months. This highly anticipated revival is the hottest ticket in town and is unlike anything else in the West End right now. No spoilers here but it’s so worth turning up an hour or so before the show starts to really immersive yourself into the atmosphere of the Kit Kat Club.

The way the Playhouse Theatre has been reconfigured is a testament to Tom Scutt and his fantastic design. The whole theatre is uniquely detailed and is fitting to the show. I hadn’t seen Cabaret on stage before nor did I know much of what it was really about. But I assumed the show had been historically presented as a glamorous spectacle whereas the design here gets into the nitty gritty of the actual piece.

I would guess to say the main reason tickets for Cabaret were snapped up super quickly were because of the two leading actors. Jessie Buckley as Sally Bowles is absolutely inspired casting. She is truly just faultless. It’s truly a real privilege to be able to see her in this role. Almost everyone I know who had seen the show before me had raved about her performance of the title song and they were 100% correct. You could just feel everyone in the room take in a breath and keep on holding it while she smashed the hell out of the song. Throughout the show, she’s just electrifying and has incredible stage presence. I think they better start building her Olivier Award now.

Eddie Redmayne is good as the Emcee. He delivers a good performance and it is nice to finally see him on stage in a musical after his fantastic performance in the Les Mis film all those years ago. But for me, he often felt very out of place at times. It’s been almost a week since I saw the show and I still can’t quite decide if that’s just because this is a role I would never expect him to do. And perhaps I need a second viewing to overlook the slight prejudice. Or it could be perhaps he’s just too famous, I couldn’t quite overlook that. That said, I really appreciate that the whole production was his idea in the first place and how he perhaps wants to break out of boxes people like me keep unintentionally putting him in. I do hope to see him in more musicals in the future.

I also pleasantly enjoyed Omari Douglas as Cliff who had wonderful chemistry with Jessie. I wish his character was a bit more developed but that’s an issue with the book for me. I thought Liza Sadovy and Elliott Levey delivered really wonderful performances as Fraulein Schneider and Herr Schultz and enjoyed their chemistry and partnership whenever they were on stage.

The rest of the cast are fantastic, particularly the ensemble who heighten every number every time they’re on stage. The choreography by Julia Cheng really encapsulates the space, the staging at the end of act one is a particular stand out moment for me. It really is a stunning sight.

The main issue I had with the show is the length. Having act one be 1.5hr long followed by a 45 minute act two made the pacing feel a bit off for me. By the time the interval came round and I remembered where I actually was, it was time to dive back in again. Other than that, it really is a stellar production and I will eagerly be keeping an eye on the website for a cheap return as soon as I’m able to get my hands on one. And I can’t wait to see who will be in the cast next.

Until next time,

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