kabaret set


Malvern Theatres


It may be winter outside as temperatures drop in Priory Park, but inside Malvern Theatre’s Kit Kat Klub, it is hot! So hot in fact that clothing becomes optional and anything goes, so get your green nail polish at the ready, as Bill Kenwright presents the multi award-winning production of Kander and Ebb’s candescent Cabaret.

Emcee, John Partridge, immediately grabs the audience out of their reverie as he appears high up a ladder wearing dangerously tight lederhosen. John Partridge, who many of you will know as Christian Clarke in EastEnders, also won the Inside Soap Award for the Sexiest Male in 2009 and most recently winner of 2018 Celebrity Masterchef.

As Emcee, expect vulgarity, extravagance, sass and glamour combined with a vicious darker more sinister Clockwork Orange side shaken with the unpredictability of The Joker.

Transported back to Berlin in 1931 American novelist Cliff Bradshaw, Charles Hagerty, meets German Ernst Ludwig, Nick Tizzard, at the Berlin Border Control. Cliff is taken under Ernst’s swastika decorated arm band and he sends him to Fraulein Schneider, Anita Harris, for cheap boarding and some advice on how to spend New Year’s Eve.

john partridge

John Partridge as Emcee. Pictures: The Other Richard

As the love story between Fraulein Schneider and Jewish Herr Schultz, James Patterson, bubbles below some Schnapps, Cliff discovers the Kit Kat Klub and a chance meeting with singer and hostess Sally Bowles, Kara Lily Hayworth, who sets him on a path to fatherhood, domesticity and smuggling.

With exciting and daring choreography by Javier De Frutos the club scenes tantalise the senses as Sally Bowles spins atop a revolving staircase. ‘Leave your troubles behind as life is beautiful, even the orchestra.’

In a whirlwind of cocaine-fuelled debauchery and hedonism, not unlike the sailors coming and going from Fraulein Kost’s bedroom (Basienka Blake), the beginning of Act 2 sees the uprising of the Nazis dampening the spirits and celebrations of marriage between Fraulein Schneider and Herr Schultz.

You wouldn’t think the second act could be any better than the first but the dramatic uprising causing political unrest results in heartbreak, abortion and the end for Cabaret. Intuitive set design by Katrina Lindsay allows the scenes to seamlessly flow with direction from Rufus Norris.

Live music, outstanding singers, dancers and a dramatic storyline powers through Emcee’s rude but loveable behaviour as he sings Money makes the world go round. As Emcee’s balloons pop and he sticks up his middle finger to fascism, all is laid bare as the gas chambers are fired up. An emotional journey with an underlying love story from the superb Anita Harris makes Cabaret a memorable musical with plenty of bang, sass and emotion.

“Willkommen, bienvenue, welcome, Im Cabaret, au Cabaret, to Cabaret”.

Leave your troubles behind in the Kit Kat Klub for Cabaret is at Malvern Theatres until Saturday, 23 November. Tickets are available from the box office on 01684 892277 or online at malvern-theatres.co.uk

Emma Trimble


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