Event review



The Hawth, Crawley, Tuesday, September 17

IT IS apt Cabaret embarks on a nationwide tour just as incidents of anti-Semitism are on the rise.

But Rufus Norris’s excellent touring production of Kanter and Ebb’s musical resists the temptation to make heavy-handed comparisons with any current situation.

The powerful human stories underpin the politics. There are touching performances from Anita Harris and James Patterson as Fräulein Schneider and Herr Schultz, the elderly couple sundered by the political realities of the times.

The cabaret where performers and audiences shelter from the world outside becomes a place where the realities finally impact their lives. It builds to a powerful ending, a reminder of the horrors that were to come.

But it’s the songs that make this work and EastEnders actor John Partridge - who played the character Christian Clarke in Albert Square - plays Emcee with relish.

The first-half climax of Tomorrow Belongs to Me is a powerful kick. Kara Lily Hayworth provides excellent renditions of Sally Bowles’ big numbers while Charles Hagerty is a solid Cliff.

It’s not without flaws: some of the German accents go a bit astray and some of the microphones were over-amplified but this is a production that emphasises the human loss at the heart of Nazi Germany and a reminder of the thousands of Herr Schultzes out there, vanished forever.

Maxwell Cooter