A tour of Cabaret with Will Young (Emcee) and Louise Redknapp (Sally Bowles) seemed like something not to be missed - so we booked up for a Cardiff matinee.
As it happens, while we were going in, someone spotted a sign on the wall stating that Will Young was indisposed and the part of the Emcee would be played by Jordan Livesey - this didn't unduly bother us but there were a lot of grumblings and some post-interval empty seats.
In reality, Jordan Livesey did a fabulous job - just the right mix of wicked and sinister - carrying the musical forward and providing the link between the scenes and the worlds of the boarding house and the club - that epitome of 1930's German decadence. A deserved standing ovation.
This particular production feels much more honest than others I have seen - the veneer over the rising Nazi atrociticies is thin indeed and the ending is shocking in its starkness and bite. Very impressive indeed though I did miss Mesquite and it is a shame to lose most of Don't Tell Mama to the background.
Given the number of scene changes, the set is effective; sparse but representative. The chorus are quite amazing as the dance numbers require very considerable athleticism and in-between they have to act their socks off. Although Sally Bowles, the Emcee and Cliff Bradshaw are the core characters, this only works if the whole ensemble are good. And they are. A mention for Nick Tizzard whose Ernst Ludwig was genuinely, and chillingly, credible.
This is a highly watchable piece of theatre but also a gut-wrenching look behind the scenes at the birth of one of history's most evil periods. Well worth the trip!