Seediness and sorrow in truly excellent version of Cabaret

Cabaret, Congress Theatre, Eastbourne

When Eastbourne Theatres bring a good show to the Congress Theatre it is packed out as it was on the first night of Bill Kenwright’s touring production of Cabaret starring Will Young as the Emcee.

You may have seen the show before but you have never seen a production like this.

It brings home the seediness of the nightclubs in Berlin in the early 1930s, but more it brings home the horrors of the rise of the Nazi Party in Germany.

There is a scene at the end of Act One, which starts with Will Young singing Tomorrow Belongs to Me, that will send shivers down your spine as the puppets he is manipulating from a wooden Nazi symbol suddenly come into their own to take over the world.

The ending is also something you will never forget and the silence in the packed theatre was quite amazing.

Will Young is an excellent Emcee and makes the part his own.

You forget who you have seen before (in one version I saw Wayne Sleep) and Siobhan Dillon, who came third in the TV search for Maria, has become a star in her own right with her great performance as Sally Bowles.

Matt Rawle is her love interest but two other cast members made a great impression.

That is former New Seekers singer Lyn Paul and Linal Haft as Fraulein Schneider and Herr Schultz.

All they want to do is get married and live out what days they have left together. But he is a jew and she cannot afford to upset the Nazis as she needs a licence to run her boarding house.

Their scenes together are so moving you want to cry.

Brilliant is not a good enough word for this production and it’s a shame it is only in Eastbourne for a week but Eastbourne is lucky to have had it.