If this is the cream of the crop at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance then the world of musical theatre has much to look forward to. Their full on, non-stop, energy-filled production of Cabaret was an absolute joy and the standing ovation at the end was very much deserved, writes Michael Holland.
In Berlin’s Kit Kat Club nightclub, as the 1920’s draw to a close, a garish Master of Ceremonies welcomes the audience and assures them they will forget all their troubles at the Cabaret. With the Emcee’s bawdy songs as wry commentary, Cabaret explores the dark, heady, and tumultuous life of Berlin’s natives and expatriates as Germany slowly yields to the emerging Third Reich.
From the opening entrance and song to the very last glimmer of spotlight, the cast keeps every audience member focused on the stage; even in the interval we could only talk about what we were experiencing, and were keen to get back in.
Although we were told by the Emcee to ‘leave your troubles outside’, we found troubled times within as racism, nationalism and hypocrisy swept across 1930s’ Germany, and Jewish people found their loyalty to their country of birth was not enough to save them from persecution. And through this people battled on regardless, believing it would all go away when election day comes. We know differently.
It was difficult to believe that the cast were students because none of them put a step wrong, or sung a note out of place, so high praise must go to their tutors and to Karen Rabinowitz’s direction. Jenny Coates in the Sally Bowles role was excellent but Barney Fritz as Emcee stole the show and quite rightly attracted the loudest cheers.
Overall this production has all the signs of greatness, and all those at Trinity Laban Musical Theatre Department who were part of making it happen should be proud of their achievement.
Cabaret is on at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, Creekside, Deptford, SE8 3DZ December 8th at 2.30pm & 7.30pm. Admission: £10, £5 concs.