Will Young on his way to Bristol to star in Cabaret
CLAD in skin-tight lederhosen and with white painted face, Will Young reprises his dazzling, award-winning role as sinister Emcee in Cabaret at Bristol Hippodrome.
Direct from his lauded performance in the West End, the pop singer turned musical-theatre star will lead the cast of the smash-hit show when it tours to Bristol on Tuesday for just one week.
"I never planned to tour with the show," said Will, who became an internationally-recognised singer/songwriter after winning the inaugural series of Pop Idol in 2002.
"The show was a hit in the West End but we could not extend the run because there was another show coming in immediately after us.
"It always felt like unfinished business because we were still playing to packed-out audiences and the momentum was still there. So when the tour was talked about it was a no-brainer for me to get onboard. I am loving it."
Cabaret is set in 1930s Berlin in all its sexual decadence, and poverty, with a rising Nazi party on the horizon. It is a live-now-die-later mentality, with girls and boys enjoying life to the full in the infamous Kit Kat Club, where the notorious master of ceremonies, Emcee, and sassy Sally Bowles perform.
Here, you find music, fun and laughter as women parade in basques and suspenders while men don short shorts and braces. But the rise of Hitler's Nazis casts dark shadows – and soon the party will be over.
Since its Broadway premiere in 1966 and the renowned movie version with Liza Minnelli and Joel Grey, Cabaret has won a staggering number of stage and screen awards.
Featuring some of the most iconic songs in musical theatre, including Money Makes The World Go Round and Cabaret, this latest production has garnered rave reviews for its show-stopping choreography, dazzling costumes and unrivalled mix of humour and pathos.
Will said: "It is a great show. I was talking to someone the other day who said he does not really like musicals – and I said that if he did not come to see Cabaret he would regret it because this is anything but your standard musical.
"Cabaret is dark, entertaining, funny and sad. Cabaret is the top end of what musical theatre should be."
It is clear that Will is passionate about the show and his role as flamboyant imp Emcee.
Will said: "He is a storyteller and paints a picture of what is happening. He is slightly mythical, a manipulator, and has shades of light and dark. He has been bashed, beaten and let down. He is a pretty broken character.
"There are many layers to Emcee, but it was not a difficult character for me to play. I have been wanting to play him for many years and I kind of get him.
"I have always loved this sort of character – entertainer, mime artist, clown. He is like David Bowie and Buster Keaton – very expressive and very physical. He uses everything to pull in an audience."
Since winning Pop Idol, Will has been one of the UK's most popular and successful music artists. He holds the record for the fastest-selling debut single in British chart history.
Will said: "Pop Idol was innocent compared to The X Factor but it was the beginning of this huge juggernaut of talent television.
"It really was a pleasure to be a part of it. People voted for me and gave me the chance to do what I am doing now. If I had not grasped with both hands the opportunity that show gave me, it would have been a huge failure on my part."
In addition to a successful singing career, he has also branched off into acting – including a memorable cameo alongside Dame Judi Dench in the film Mrs Henderson Presents. It is the combination of these talents which has led him to star in Cabaret.
Will said: "I am a very selfish person and I will only do things that I love. I love singing, acting and dancing – and I am loving Cabaret."
Cabaret is at Bristol Hippodrome from Tuesday, September 17 to Saturday, September 21 – Tuesday and Thursday at 7.30pm, Wednesday and Saturday at 2.30pm and 7.30pm, and Friday at 5pm and 8.15pm. Tickets cost £15 to £49.50. Telephone 0844 871 3012.