The Kit Kat Club (Playhouse Theatre), January 19, 2022
2022 may have just peaked.
This whole experience is wonderfully crafted, from the moment you descend the stairs to the Club, the immersive prologue en route through backstage and to the bar. This is a true theatre experience.
I have never seen the original or other versions to I cant compare and I dont think that matters. The director and designer have created a cosy, intimate yet with a slightly sleazy air of menace Kit Kat Club. The languid dancers, the lacy frills and DMs, the elaborate makeup, the bending of gender and at the heart of it the Emcee. Eddie Redmayne is sensational. The physicality of the performance is incredible and at one point we see him transform from train guard into the Emcee with his uneasy grin, simply by contorting his body. His performance alone is worth the price of entry.
Sally Bowles is Jessie Buckley. Last seen as Juliet in the NT’s Romeo and Juliet, here she takes on another iconic role. Bloody Nora, she is a mighty force on stage. That voice. The power and raw emotion in her rendition of Cabaret is phenomenal. Her transformation from sweet Shirley Temple style to bland wool suit and smeared make up— this representation of the descent of Berlin from frothy fun debauchery to destructive fascism is simple and clear.
The heart of the play seems to be with the older couple torn apart by the fascist rise. There is a real tenderness and kindness between them, cruelly ripped apart as Nazi sympathies become clear. Beautifully portrayed by Elliot Levey and Liza Sadovy. Brava!
For someone who hates musicals, I was blown away by this. The choreography, the performances, the staging, the immersiveness of the experience.
5/5. I’d give it 100/5 if I could.