I’ll admit, my exposure to theatre has been limited up until now, and prior to watching Cabaret at The Fugard on Saturday night, I thought perhaps it just wasn’t for me.
How wrong I was and apologies to my cultured, theatre-going friends that I didn’t get on your bandwagon sooner. Cabaret was highly enjoyable, and I suddenly regret not having caught The Rocky Horror Show during its lengthy run at the same theatre.
For those who have not seen the original film or theatre production, Cabaret is set in pre-WWII Germany, during the Weimar Republic in 1931.
It centres around struggling American novelist Cliff Bradshaw (Daniel Buys) who finds himself in Berlin trying to further his writing career. At the popular KitKat Club he meets British performer Sally Bowles (Claire Taylor) and a romance ensues. But it’s not the stuff of fairy tales…
An ominous presence grows throughout Cabaret, as a rising Nazi party starts to reach its fingers into the characters’ sheltered nightclub world. It leaves everyone with a sense of uncertainty about their lives in Berlin, while financial woes and the temptation of illicit over-the-border smuggling become the least of their problems (no more spoilers, I promise).
The production struck a sentimental chord with me, as I have Jewish roots dating back to pre-WWII Germany, but it’s an emotional piece of theatre for anyone, no matter your background.
The cast is truly world-class, but special mention must be made of the iconic MC of the show (Charl-Johan Lingenfelder). His rendition of the famous opening number ‘Wilkommen’ gave me goosebumps barely five minutes in and his high-energy performance for the rest of the show was unforgettable.
Cabaret has been extended until Saturday 13 June and I would highly recommend a visit to The Fugard for this memorable production.
Where The Fugard Theatre, cnr of Caledon and Lower Buitenkant streets, CBD
When Running until Saturday 13 June (check performance times when booking)
Contact +27 21 461 4554, thefugard.com
Photography Jesse Kramer