They say that life is a cabaret old chum, and it certainly was at the Theatre Royal tonight, when we went to see the musical of the same name. It starred singer Will Young, actress Michelle Ryan and legendary actress Sian Phillips. It is on a short tour of the country, before transferring to the West End of London.
I've only seen the film version which starred Liza Minnelli a couple of times, so I had a rough idea of the plot. The action is set in Berlin in 1931 and revolves around night club singer and dancer Sally Bowles, her friends, lovers and the rise of the Nazi party.
The ending was very dark, shocking and done in complete silence. As a Nazi pushes over the giant letters that spelt KABAERT over, you see the dancers from the club all lined up and naked, with their backs to the audience. You then see sprinkles of light pouring from the ceiling and you slowly realise that they are in a gas chamber and about to die as part of the 'Final Solution'.
It was an excellent production and well staged. I was even impressed with Will Young's singing and dancing abilities; considering that he only came from the Pop Idol TV series a few years ago, rather than the usual route of progressing through theatre or drama school.
We decided to wait backstage and see if we could say hello to the stars. We met Michelle Ryan, and she signed our programme, before driving off in her red Mini. Will was a bit more challenging. He actually managed to leave the theatre without anyone noticing, as he left through another door and into his black Mercedes. There was quite a crowd waiting for him too, so it was somewhat disappointing that he decided to play the drama queen and ignore everyone.