Come to this Cabaret
STOCKINGS, suspenders, emerging Nazis and yes, Pop Idol's Will Young.
What a night.
This was a production that tore at your emotions. It was funny, ironic, happy, sad, gentle, brutal and moving.
From the start it grabbed your attention. There were bright lights, stark sets and brilliant live music.
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It transported us to the raunchy night club of Berlin in 1931 where life as everyone knew it was about to change forever.
Young as white-faced Emcee was camp but it was controlled camp. He didn't overplay it. He didn't try to steal the show. He didn't need to. He put in a great performance and sang superbly as one of a great cast.
His delivery of the lyrically tongue-twisting Money was superb.
And his parody of Hitler controlling his dancers on strings attached to large hand-held swastikas was stunning.
As a spectacle alone it was sheer genius.
Siobhan Dillion, as dizzy, adorable and naïve Sally Bowles was a joy. She genuinely stopped the show with a heartfelt rendition of the title song shot through with regret and angst as she watched the world she knew falling apart. It was both brittle and defiant.
Set against this were the tender performances of Lyn Paul as landlady Fraulein Schneider, and Linal Haft as Herr Schultz, the ageing friends whose love was thwarted by the rise of the Nazis. She still has a wonderful voice.
Despite the passage of time the sight of a Nazi swastika on a red armband is still enough to send an audible chill through a theatre.
As were the renditions of the Nazi youth anthem Tomorrow Belongs To Me, a song with seemingly simple words but dripping with malevolence.
This Rufus Norris production is poignant and memorable.
And those brought up on the 1972 film with Liza Minnelli will not go away disappointed.
It ended in a solemn, dramatic and emotional laden tableau that was breathtaking.
And seconds later the entire Hippodrome audience rose cheering as one.
We had seen something special, something to talk about and something to remember.