I have been very privileged to have been able to travel to Europe with my family over the past month. Mostly to see family, but we were also able to squeeze in a few shows!
I’ve written a blog/review for each…
1 – Cabaret at Lido2Paris, France.
Walking into this venue on the Av. des Champs-Élysées gave me a little buzz! A long time Cabaret venue in the heart of Paris, it closed due to Covid and wasn’t able to reopen. So Jean-Luc Choplin took it over and turned it into a theatre venue and Cabaret is the first show since the grand (new) opening.
It was entirely in English (as per the original) and I had seen the Tina Arena version in Sydney in 2002, so I kind of knew what to expect. However, I wasn’t prepared for the emotions Fräulein Schneider and Herr Schultz‘s relationship would stir up in me. Having visited Berlin a couple of weeks before and walking through the Holocaust Memorial, then having visited Anne Frank’s hideaway in Amsterdam a few days later, their story became so much more raw and far outshone the Sally Bowles-Clifford Bradshaw’s partnership, but I suspect this is often the case anyway.
All the performances were solid. Izzy Connolly as Sally Bowles was well sustained, but her performance of the song Cabaret was absolutely stunning and had us in tears. Sam Buttery as Emcee was strong – bold and commanding with just the right amount of cheekiness. The choreography was tight and rather spectacular. The ensemble were fantastic, as were the onstage band.
What really got me about the production was the staging – a thrust stage with a large stage lift in the middle which became Bradshaw’s bedroom, a grand exit, the exterior shot of bedrooms in the boarding house and finally the venue for the engagement party. Incredible shifts to create so many spaces seamlessly, in a space not designed for this kind of performance piece.
First performed in 1966, Cabaret hadn’t lost its punch for me. Especially in this remodelled cabaret venue complete with tables, chairs and booths dating back to the era. The audience is part of the Kit Kat Club and despite the venue’s vastness (over 1000 seats) it still feels intimate.
What a joy!