Despite being a massive musical fan, there are many shows I’ve yet to see. I’ve never seen the alive hills occupying the Sound Of Music, never seen Jodie Foster singing to Bugsy Malone and never found out what “that jazz” means in Chicago.
But the thing that raises the most eyebrows from fellow theatre darlings is the fact I’ve never seen Cabaret. In fact the only thing I’ve seen Liza Minnelli in is Arrested Development, and the only reason I’d heard the most well-known tune of the show (Life is a Cabaret) is thanks to Glee.
But recently all that changed when I finally gave in and went to watch Cabaret in the Savoy theatre, which had the bizarre mix of professional singer Will Young and ex-Eastenders actress Michelle Ryan playing the lead roles.Although I was looking forward to seeing Mr Young play a leading role (I’ve been a fan since his Pop Idol days), I wasn’t so keen about seeing Miss Ryan. Up until then I was only aware of her ability to cry on camera and shout “You’re not my mother” at a woman who appeared to be dressed in a leopard print onesie. Turns out I was being bloody unfair, as she completely blew me away from the start with her amazing singing voice and equally amazing legs.
And it must be noted, she wasn’t the only one with great legs that ran higher than heaven, as Will Young also flaunted his assets thanks to a rather fetching costume in his role as Emcee, the narrator. Although it wasn’t the only thing he flaunted, as towards the end the entire cast get naked, and not wishing to be rude, he joins them, and a wonderful bum he has too.
For those unaware of the plot, I’ll fill you in without spoiling the ending too much. Set in Germany during the rise of the Nazis, it follows wannabe author Clifford Bradshaw and show girl Sally Bowles (Michelle Ryan) as they stay in a hotel together during a difficult time not only for them, but for their friends. In particular, their landlady who is in a relationship with a Jewish shop owner is truly heart-breaking and was one of the most powerful performances I’ve ever seen in the theatre, let alone in a musical. If you don’t cry by the end, go to your GP because you have no heart.
It’s safe to say, that due to my lack of research I wasn’t expecting such dark themes to be slotted in amongst comedy skints and burlesque routines, but it did so with complete ease.
You won’t be surprised to hear I went to the stage door immediately after the show to try and nab a photo with either Miss Ryan or Mr Young for my collection (and for this post). Turns out I wasn’t the only one, there were hoards of women (and fed-up boyfriends) all waiting for him, mostly with his autobiography in the hand, and it was nice to feel normal at a stage door for a change.
Although Will decided to be a no-show (and who could blame him after that stage door description), Michelle Ryan went to both stage exists and happily posed for photos and autographs. I didn’t get a chance to nab her signature, but I’m reliably informed by a fellow fan that her autograph looked like a bad drawing of an elephant. Despite her bad handwriting, she came across a wonderfully nice woman, which made me feel like a complete cow for previously slating her without even seeing the performance.
Now if you excuse me, I’m off to buy Cabaret on DVD and look for more naked pictures of Will Young.
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