Review: Mesmerising, Moving and Tragically Beautiful – Cabaret @ Palace Theatre

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Mesmerising, moving and tragically beautiful – these are the only words that can describe the performance of ‘Cabaret’ at the Palace Theatre.

The performance takes the audience on a journey through a raunchy, romantic and sexually liberated world that faces off against the rise of the Nazi party in Germany, all of which inevitably ends in a crescendo of emotion that leaves the entire theatre in silence.

The musical in and of itself was striking, but what made this performance stand out was the absolutely dazzling work done by the actors who played the parts of all Cabaret’s iconic characters, whose personalities are so unique that even being remotely able to replicate them is an astounding feat.

Kara Lily Hayworth played Sally Bowles, the lover of American writer Cliff Bradshaw – a role she was made for. Her ability to express Sally’s carefree nature was truly convincing and her ability to sing for this role was so raw and powerful that the only person to have possibly given a greater rendition if even by a fraction, is Liza Minelli from the 1972 film of the same name.

The expert acting abilities of Anita Harris who took on the role of Frau Schneider the landlady of the apartments in the performance was also a highlight – the veteran of the arts conveyed her character with an incredible range of emotion, from laughter that never seemed forced, to the absent-minded ramblings and then truly deep and howling sadness.

However, possibly the most incredible form of acting in the whole performance goes to the madness of John Partridge, who played the eccentric Cabaret host Emcee.

To accurately depict a character that diverse, especially considering his almost sadistic lack of morals is one thing, but Partridge expresses even more eccentricity through his mannerisms and speech, which only seem intrinsic to the character itself, almost as if he was filling in the blanks of Emcee as a person rather than a character.

The performance with its brilliant set, amazing music and talented performers will have you laughing in true delight, with the almost uncontrollable urge to sing along and cry unstoppable tears.

These tears, however, will not be accompanied by cries or sobs, as this performance leaves you in total silence with the rest of the theatre.

Cabaret ends with the same words that it opened with, but without the warm feelings: “Willkommen, Bienvenue, welcome…” and there is no better sentiment of which to end such a show on.

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aAh! Magazine is Manchester Metropolitan University's arts and culture magazine.

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