Written by Jamie Griffiths on February 12, 2024
Richard Douglas: Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club, 09-02-24
Even the orchestra is beautiful!
Let me start by saying, Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club was exceptional and if you get the opportunity,
see it. I approached the performance eagerly as someone who loved both the 1972 film and Christopher
Isherwood’s Goodbye to Berlin, but one who had never seen Cabaret on the stage, and it surpassed
Jake Shears is wickedly wild and grotesque as the emcee. His larger-than-life performance flips
perfectly between debauchery, devilishness and depravity. He is a skilled, and seemingly
inexhaustible performer whose presence fills the room.
Taite-Elliot Drew’s Clifford Bradshaw is — on the surface at least — the all-American boy who sees
through the nonsense and gleans exactly what is unfolding around him in Germany. Drew delivers a
solid performance which serves as a stabilising force amidst the madness surrounding his character.
For me though, it was Rebecca Lucy Taylor who stole the show with her complicated and
heartbreaking Sally Bowles. Her performance had the audience in awe, and often on the verge of
tears. Utterly compelling and entirely believable, even her character’s darkest moments shine out.
I must also mention Beverley Klein’s excellent performance as Fraulein Schneider embodying for me
the tragedy of the everyday person in the looming future of Nazi Germany. If only she didn’t have to
return the crystal fruit bowl…
The staging and direction is extraordinary, the cast and company is phenomenal, even the orchestra
The immersive adventure made this the finest theatre experience I’ve ever had the good fortune to
have. From disappearing into the bowels of the theatre on arrival, and the prologue company
performing in the nooks and crannies of the building, to the telephone on our table as we watched
from the floor of the Kit Kat Club, we were there, in Berlin voyeuristically observing the lives of these
characters unfold in front of us. More tragic for knowing the direction the world was heading.
Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club stands out as one of the very best pieces of theatre today. It delivers a
sharp word of warning which, given the recent horrors in the Middle East, and the waves rippling
across the West right now, we should sit up and heed. It’s an important and relevant piece of work
and one that I feel privileged to have experienced.