A Berlin Kabaret began its life at this year's Brighton Fringe and provided exactly what the name would suggest – comedy, dance, song, theatre and political satire –with style and real quality.
There were 20 songs, mainly from the 1930s, many by Bertolt Brecht and Hans Eisler, and most of which have a strong political resonance today.
The sole accompanist played piano and accordion. The four singers/performers were exceptional and each carried the powerful stage presence necessary to make this kind of satire effective. Their voices were strong, their diction clear, their ensemble singing precise.
As slick and polished as the artists was the direction and choreography. Not asking for an audience response after each piece gave the 55-minute show a smart pace.
The Dada surrealist face paint/masks lent the performers an otherness that placed them in their own space. Although songs were sometimes sung amid the audience, this was not the sawdust cabaret of Bob Fosse’s 1972 movie.
Lili Marlene was included, but with its original political agenda implicit.
The sell-out crowd loved it but sadly A Berlin Kabaret had only a three-day run, too short for such an inspired production.