This eagerly anticipated and immersive production of the musical has begun previews at the transformed Playhouse Theatre. Emma Clarendon reveals the five reasons why you should (if you can) catch this production.
- The transformation of the Playhouse Theatre into the Kit Kat Club: those who have worked on transforming the Playhouse Theatre’s space should be incredibly proud of themselves! The entire theatre now has a wonderfully classy, elegant, intimate cabaret style that really ensures that no matter where you are sitting you are really close to the action. I can completely understand why on the door to the theatre the staff remind you not to take any pictures (although one or two people did try to – they were quickly stopped by front of house staff) – you should go in not knowing what to expect.
2. Eddie Redmayne and Jessie Buckley: my goodness if these two do not get at least one award apiece for their performances there is something seriously wrong. Eddie Redmayne completely absorbs himself into this role and knows how to work the audience well as Emcee, while Jessie Buckley gives the role of Sally her own flair and certainly gives a gritty and memorable performance. But it really isn’t just about the two of them – they are also surrounded by plenty of wonderful support including Elliot Levey, Omari Douglas and Liza Sadovy.
3. The way in which it has been staged: Rebecca Frecknall’s production absolutely makes the most of all the space – and the audience as well. As I mentioned above, due to the transformation of the Playhouse Theatre, no matter where you sit you are guaranteed to see everything. It is a production that completely surrounds the audience and beautifully draws you into the story that is unfolding.
4. The choreography: while the show of course stays very much in the era that it is set around, there is also a lovely contemporary twist through Julia Cheng’s choreography that is fascinating to watch and provides many memorable moments – particularly during the best known songs from the musical.
5. The music: of course it is always a thrill when seeing a revival of a classic musical to hear the songs you know and love performed live – but when it is Cabaret it feels as though it is a particular thrill as the orchestra perform the songs with such grace and style it really sweeps you into each number effortlessly. The arrangements allow for fresh interpretations that work well with the cast’s interpretation of the characters.
Cabaret continues to play at The Kit Kat Club.