Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club - Review

After winning 7 Olivier Awards, the hype around Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club is real. With mystery surrounding the whole show, you are encouraged to keep the secrets of what happens inside the club from the moment you step foot into the theatre until you leave. From the snippets of information you know before you enter, you are aware that the show is nothing short of immersive, and the whole theatre has been renovated to accommodate this new revival of this classic show. 

Whilst initially I hadn't been too bothered about seeing this show, after watching the incredible performance by Amy Lennox at the Olivier Awards, I knew I had to be there. With a handful of affordable tickets in the theatre, as soon as the next batch was released I booked tickets quicker than I could catch my breath. Tickets are priced between £30 and £325 per performance, and whilst I knew that the expensive ones would be worth every penny, they just weren't in my budget. 

After months of waiting, it was finally our time to head to the elusive Kit Kat Club and see what all the fuss was about. I took Scott with me, who knew next to nothing about the show, so I was excited to get his opinion on it. 

The performance starts from the moment your tickets are scanned. The front of house staff welcome you to the club, remind you of the rules (no photos, no re-admittance, and don't spoil it for others) and you enter down some stairs into the Kit Kat Club. From the moment you enter, there are things to see, do, and enjoy. You're hard pushed to fit everything in at times, and feel like you've entered a secret hideaway steps from the bustling London streets. 

We were sat in the upper circle, and it's worth noting that there are several steps, it's incredibly steep and there isn't a huge amount of wiggle room in the seats. Having said that, our seats were in A1&2 and I couldn't fault them. Once settled we had a perfect view of the stage; which is set in the round, and throughout the show felt like we missed nothing as we could see the whole of the staging, characters, and scenes with little to no obstructions. There is enough raking in the upper circle that you can lean forward on the railings and peek over if needed, but I honestly can't fault the view for the £30 price tag. 

Cabaret is set in Berlin in the 1930's and follows the lives of its residents as the Nazi popularity is rising. As you meet the characters, you learn about their lives and how the outside world changes, their own lives change. From the bright lights and colours of the diverse Berlin, to the brainwashed Nazi uprising. Each song by John Kander tells the story in the most perfect of ways to give this somewhat disjointed yet beautiful tale the music it deserves. Set in the round, this show feels intimate and inviting, with adaptable staging that changes and moves for each scene. Its understated yet striking, and even the band dress the part as they sit on the edges of the dress circle for everyone to see. 

As the show begins you are introduced to the Emcee (Fra Fee), the master of entertainment. As he welcomes you to the show with the song "Wilkommen", you are transported into the underworld of the Berlin entertainment industry. Into a world where you are allowed to be who you want to be and express yourself how you want to away from the judgements of the outside world. Fra Fee's performance is nothing short of incredible. His charisma is infectious, and his nuances just leave you grinning from ear to ear. A truly perfect casting, he is a must watch, and strikes the perfect blend of whimsy, hilarity, and sometimes terror to bring the Emcee to life. 

Throughout the show you are introduced to other characters, including Vivien Parry as the brilliant Fraulein Schneider, whose rendition of "What Would You Do?" leaves you wishing that you could give a standing ovation mid show. You meet Clifford Bradshaw (played by Christopher Tendai), a young American author who is looking for his new muse. Christopher Tendai was perfect at showing the innocence mixed with confidence that this role needed. Richard Katz was fantastic as Herr Shultz, the Jewish fruit seller who wants to win over the heart of Fraulein Schneider, and Stewart Clark had the sinister yet charismatic role of Ernst Ludwig, the Nazi politician, giving us the coldness and strictness that transforms the show from something lovely to sinister with his rendition of "Tomorrow Belongs To Me". 

I knew that Amy Lennox would be fantastic as Sally Bowles. After all, her performance at the Olivier Awards was nothing short of perfection. Yet nothing prepared me for seeing it live. Her performance had all the energy, emotion, and passion of someone that truly loves their job. That embodies this troubled character each show with ease and leaves the audience emotionally broken at the end of the show. I honestly wish I could have given a standing ovation after she sung the title song, and the rapturous applause from the audience led me to believe that everyone else agreed. 

Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club is a show like no other. It transports you into a thought provoking world of wonder, amazement, and whilst its set in the 1930's, some of the themes of acceptance and balance of power can still be felt today. It's a show that is hard to describe without spoiling, but one not to be missed. It's honestly one of the best shows I have seen this year, and I'll be hard pressed to find something that will blow me away as much as this one does. With prices starting from £30, there is no bad seat in the house and one I urge everyone to see at least once. Believe the hype and head down to the club. 

Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club is currently booking until October 2022, but I expect it will extend beyond this. 

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