On 18th February I was given the opportunity, by the Young Reporters scheme, to watch Cabaret in New Wimbledon Theatre. At the end of the performance the cast received a well-deserved standing ovation. I went to the show with little knowledge or expectation. The music, dance and story combined made this a wonderful albeit uneasy experience. Cabaret was first performed on 20th November 1966 at the Broadhurst Theatre. The show transferred to the Imperial Theatre to then close on the 6th September 1969 in the Broadway Theatre. Before closing, Cabaret had 1,165 performances and 21 preview shows. The musical, with music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb, is set in 1931 Berlin as the Nazis rise to power. The story follows American writer Cliff Bradshaw, played by Charles Hagerty, and his relationship with a member of the Kit Kat Klub; cabaret performer, Sally Bowles, played by Kara Lily Hayworth.

The start of the show presented life in Berlin as joyous and permissive. This atmosphere takes a turn in the second act as the hedonistic lifestyle becomes threatened by the rise of Hitler and the Nazis. This rise in power leads to the deterioration of relationships such as that of Herr Schultz, played by James Patterson, and Fraulein Schneider, played by Anita Harris. The romance between this pair was one of the highlights of this show, personally.

In stark contrast to Fraulein Schneider and Herr Schultz who are wholesome and sincere, we have the garish, over the top Emcee, played by John Partridge. I feel like he presented this role incredibly and interacted wonderfully with the audience, to an appropriate extent. The character developed from a decadent showman to an evil, menacing Nazi. One of my favourite songs was ‘Maybe This Time’ which was sung by Kara Lily Hayworth in her role as Sally. Hayworth sang this song with emotion, shown though her facial expressions as well as her stillness and lack of movement. The dancing was phenomenal and the actors had a lot of trust in each other as they effortlessly fell from heights in to the arms of their fellow cast members.

I went to see the show with my mum who thoroughly enjoyed it. She said “I didn’t know what to expect. The final scene was very eerie, more so because of what had gone before with the excessive behaviour surrounding the cabaret scene.”

-Hannah Padbury