I thoroughly enjoyed Cabaret at Birmingham Rep last night.  It’s dark and sexy and moving and brutal, and I would heartily recommend it.  Stay away, though, if you’re prudish about nudity (male and female).

Samantha Barks was amazing as Sally Bowles.  She was perfect for the part – thus, IMO, she would not have been ideally cast as Nancy in Oliver, a role which has a lot more warmth and vulnerability to it.  Good to see her at the start of her career.

Wayne Sleep was creepily camp as the smarmy Emcee, and Henry Luxemburg perfect as Cliff Bradshaw, the innocent abroad who falls for Sally (and a male Kit Kat Club dancer called Bobby, lady branded with a pink triangle by Nazis).

Jenny Logan, the Shake ‘n’ Vac lady, was something of a revelation.  I don’t know why she remains famous mainly for those crummy ads, when she has such a powerful voice.  Her scenes with her elderly fiancé, the persecuted Jewish grocer Herr Schultz (Matt Zimmerman) were very touching.

The Rep is a nice little theatre and it was encouraging to see it jam packed last night.  Always good to support the local arts scene.

Next summer the brilliant Queen musical We Will Rock You comes to Birmingham Hippodrome.  I will get tickets in due course, though my diary for next July-September is not exactly mapped out yet so I may as well simply stick a pin in it and book for whatever date it lands in.

And, by the way, I am now 4 sleeps away from Italy…


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