A complete archive of every major YAT production since 1970
by Joe Masteroff
Play by John Van Druten. Stories by Christopher Isherwood
Music by John Kander. Lyrics by Fred Ebb
Review by George Allan for Middlesex Chronicle (September 1983)Many fine things have come from Youth Action Theatre at Hampton Court, but nothing, I believe, has had quite the superb balnce achieved in Eric Yardley's realisation of Cabaret last week.
No other production I have seen has so captured the sense of bitterness that underlies the tawdry in this sharply-observed musical.
What Mr Yardley has drawn from his magnificent young cast bears the import, and also reaches that peak, of Greek tragedy - catharsis - very rare in the amateur theatre today.
There were moments when I thought that this or that detail could have been done otherwise, such as the low key playing of the scenes between Sally Bowles and her lover Cliff Bradshaw (neatly portrayed by Susannah Doyle and Richard Tipper). But this was all part of the mosaic which threw into sharp relief the horror of creeping Nazism.
There was only one scene I felt could have been handled better with the song Tomorrow Belongs To Me, when the Nazi emergence was allowed to peak too early.
There were four superb performances: first, Andrew Wale as the ambiguous Master of Ceremonies, with his chilling death's-head grin; Carol Palmer, glorying in the sexuality of Fraulein Kost; and, best of all, Rebecca Wheatley and Aiden Paddick as the elderly couple looking for love and companionship - Fraulein Scneider and the Jewish widower Herr Schultz.
The music and dancing were handled brilliantly, and there were many telling touches from the large cast. A genuine triumph.
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