Cabaret review: Willkommen back at any time

Will Young in Cabaret.
Will Young in Cabaret.
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Of all the shows lined up for the Bill Kenwright winter season at Peterborough’s Broadway theatre, Cabaret was undoubtedly the most eagerly awaited and anticipated of the lot.

And on Monday night a near-1,200 full house got to see what all the fuss was about.

If the ovation, much of it standing, is anything to go by, it was worth the wait.

Will Young, of Pop Idol fame, was magnificent was Emcee - all moody and maniacal - almost Joker-esque at times with white painted face and black leather shorts... and occasionally not much else; It is clear to see why he won a coveted Olivier nomination for the role in the West End.

Emcee, in his own bizarre way, knits the story together – a story of troubled romances set against a backdrop of decadent, anything goes Berlin in the early 1930s and the rise of the Nazi party.

Siobhan Dillion is a wonderful Sally Bowles, great acting as the motor-mouth songstress and a wonderful voice, best shown off with the hopeful Maybe This Time and the tragic Cabaret towards the end of Act Two.

She works well with Matt Rawle, convincing as would-be author Cliff Bradshaw in Germany looking for inspiration for his next book, and there is plenty of it with the wild goings on at the bawdy Kit Kat Club.

Lyn Paul (Fraulein Schneider) and Linal Haft (Herr Schultz), the other couple whose blossoming romance is doomed, albeit for much different, political, reasons, share some great moments, particularly the charming It Couldn’t please Me More. Paul, a Seventies star with the New Seekers, still possesses a delightful voice.

Nicholas Tizzard, as the creepy, nasty-but-nice Nazi Ernst Ludwig, and Valerie Cutko, as the scary, sailor-eating Fraulein Kost are a delight.

The ensemble are sensational at the heart of the power-packed, stunning dance routines - the choreography is incredible - which drive the show forwards.

And the orchestra - on stage as the Kit Klub Club band - are note perfect.

Young’s mesmerising performance gets most of the plaudits but the strong cast make sure there are no lulls between his eye-catching spells on stage.

It is very dark at times, the Nazi uprising and persecution of the Jews makes sure of that, but there are certainly plenty of uplifting moments and no shortage of wit and humour.

Cabaret runs until Saturday (with matinee performances on Thursday and Saturday). For available tickets visit www.kenwright.com or call 01733 822225.